-In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim, when there apparently was still time for repentance, the LORD sent Jeremiah, His prophet, to the court of the Temple (The LORD’s House) with an important message that no word was to omitted (Jeremiah 26:1-2). God told His servant that there was a chance they would listen and turn, which would allow Him to repent (relent, take pity, change His mind, to be sorry, grieve) of the calamity, which He was planning to do to them because of their evil deeds (Jeremiah 26:3). This gives us a clear glimpse into the true heart of God, which is total compassion when people align with His righteous ways. On the flip side, His promise is to make them like Shiloh if they would not listen to His message as to walk in His law, which He set before them by the mouth of the prophets again and again (Jeremiah 26:4-6). Shiloh was where the tabernacle had been originally set up after the conquest of the Promised Land (Joshua 18:1). It was destroyed in approximately 1050 B.C. by the Philistines. This reality helps us make sense to the intense reaction by the priests and prophets to Jeremiah’s message in the next section. *Application* God is continually giving us chances to come into Divine alignment with Him and His purposes. Don’t reject the opportunities God has set before you to live a righteous life by the Holy Spirit He puts in you when you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior. He makes an offer you should never refuse, but you do have a choice in the matter. Meditate on the consequences of destruction if you deny Christ and then be wise in accepting Him.
-The priests, prophets, and all the people seized Jeremiah upon hearing this threatening message given from God. He was in serious danger of being killed at this point as we see in the text. Jeremiah boldly defends his position as being directly from the LORD, every word of it. He reiterates they should amend their ways, their deeds, and obey the Voice of the LORD their God so that He would change His mind about their misfortune, which He pronounced (Jeremiah 26:7-13). The prophet tells them that indeed he is in their hands and they can do with him as they desire. But he warned, “Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood on yourselves, and on this city and on its inhabitants; for truly the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing (Jeremiah 26:15).” This word gave the officials a pause, and they relented in his death sentence. Some of the elders, at this point, arose and remembered Micah’s prophecy (Micah 3:12) and the LORD’s relenting at that time to spare them (Jeremiah 26:17-19). Also, the incident of Uriah was recounted, who was tracked down and murdered by King Jehoiakim after fleeing to Egypt for delivering a harsh word from the LORD (Jeremiah 26:20-23). Sanity prevailed with regard to Jeremiah’s life primarily through a man by the name of Ahikam, and he was not given into the hands of the people who wanted to put him to death (Jeremiah 26:24). *Application* What if God asks you to do something that you know will bring ridicule, disfavor, and persecution? Obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). Do what God commands you to do and leave the consequences to Him like Jeremiah did. There may not be repentance from the people, just as we see in this historical narrative, but be a faithful servant of God in giving His warning of pending judgment if, and only if, the LORD speaks clearly to you on a matter.
Verse to Memorize: Jeremiah 26:13