Throughout the book of Jeremiah I am astounded at the boldness with which the prophet Jeremiah spoke. He didn’t care what the people said or did to him. He spoke loud and clear the Words that the Lord told him to speak. In one section of the reading today (chapter 38), the people put him into a cistern (or a deep well) and left him there to die after he proclaimed the words of the Lord. The people didn’t want to hear what the Lord had to say. We may not be put down a well today for proclaiming the Word of God, but we certainly will be mocked and isolated from the world. The world desperatly needs to hear the Good News, but they are not always receptive to it. That’s what we see in this section of scripture. It’s a back and forth between the people being receptive and not receptive to the words that Jeremiah spoke on behalf of the Lord. One time in chapter 42 it appeared as if the people were ready to follow the Lord’s instruction. They said, “Whether it is favorable or unfavorable, we will obey the Lord our God, to whom we are sending you, so it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God.” (Jer 42:6) But then just a few verses later the people disagreed with the Word from the Lord spoken by Jeremiah and they disobeyed Him.
It’s easy to judge the people in these pages of scripture. It’s easy to see them as fools and see their mistakes. But it’s not so easy to see my sin or my mistakes. But they are there. We all have gone astray…we all have sinned…we all have been foolish. May we obey The Word of the Lord…“whether it is favorable or unfavorable”.