“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19).
The sad story of Jeremiah is that the opposition he faced came from the very ones whom, through him, the Lord was trying to save. The Lord wanted to spare them the disaster that was sure to come. The problem, though, is that people often don’t want to hear what they need to hear, because it cuts against their sinful and corrupt desires.
Read Jeremiah 11:18–23. What is going on here? What does some of the imagery remind us of?
Though in ancient Israel those who falsely prophesied in the name of the Lord could face death, in this case there was no indication that the men of Anathoth thought Jeremiah was speaking falsely. Instead, it seemed that they just wanted him silenced. They didn’t want to hear what he had to say. Though the text doesn’t say how they planned to kill him, some scholars have thought that they might have been thinking of poisoning him.
As we saw, too, Anathoth was Jeremiah’s hometown, and its people were rejecting his message, even to the point of being willing to kill him. This, though, was only the beginning of a much wider rejection by all but a “remnant” of his own nation.
Of course, all of this, including the “lamb led to the slaughter” imagery, evokes the sacrifice of Jesus. In a sense, Jeremiah prefigured Christ, not as a type (like the animal sacrifices), but in that he, like Jesus, faced powerful opposition from the very ones he was trying to help. This situation in Jeremiah’s life definitely calls to mind what Jesus went through early in His ministry as well (Luke 4:14–30).
When was the last time you heard something that you knew was right, but you simply didn’t want to hear it? What was your initial reaction? In cases like this, why must we learn to take up our cross?
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 4 – Rebuke and Retribution