Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Faithfulness at great pain

When Jeremiah had come to the dungeon cells and remained there many days, King Zedekiah sent for him and received him. The king questioned him secretly in his house and said, "Is there any word from the LORD?" Jeremiah said, "There is." Then he said, "You shall be delivered into the hand of the king of Babylon."
Jeremiah 37:16-17

Prison will not silence a true prophet. Jeremiah is misunderstood and mistreated. He was accused of treason and falsely imprisoned for suspicion of collaboration with the enemy. All because he would not back down from God's message to the nation that affirmed that the Chaldeans were going to destroy Jerusalem and haul survivors captive away to Babylon.

God is His sovereign work moves King Zedekiah to retrieve the prophet from prison. If Jeremiah ever had a chance to play it safe and save himself by saying what the king wanted to hear, this was the opportunity. But the prophet remained absolutely faithful to the Word of The Lord. He would not back down, even if it would make things easier. He still spoke the hard truth to the king.

Jeremiah was rewarded for this faithfulness. God moved the king to hear Jeremiah's complaints of ill treatment and to help the prophet. He was kept by the king by the royal guard rather than returned to the cruel makeshift prison where he had been beaten and mistreated. This assured that God's Word would stay heard and could impact Jerusalem still, even in its darkest days of judgment from God.

God honors our commitment to Him. He sees it. Staying faithful to the truth is really its own reward. But God in His grace will notice and stay near to those who are faithful to Him and to His Word. I am grateful for this insight in these difficult days.

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