As we saw yesterday, whatever his fears, whatever his own emotions, Jeremiah stood firm, fully aware of the potential death that his stance could bring him. He warned the princes and the people very clearly in Jeremiah 26:15 (“know for certain” [NKJV], he said) that if they killed him they would face punishment for spilling innocent blood. Jeremiah knew that he was not guilty of the charges against him.
Read Jeremiah 26:16–24. How did Jeremiah escape death?
How fascinating that the priests and the prophets, the ones who were supposed to be the spiritual leaders, had to be rebuked and challenged by mere “elders” and “regular people” who came forward in defense of Jeremiah. They brought up the memory of Micah, who had lived a century before Jeremiah, in Israel. The king then did not hurt Micah but listened to his advice, the whole nation repented, and disaster was averted, at least for a time. Now these people in Jeremiah’s day were wiser than their leaders and wanted to spare the nation from making a big mistake by putting a prophet of God to death.
The acquittal emphasized that Jeremiah was not guilty of those things he was accused of. However, the priests’ and prophets’ hatred became stronger. Anger and the desire for revenge rose in them so that at a later time they would pounce on Jeremiah with their full fury. His release meant only a moment of ease for the prophet. He was not completely out of danger.
What we can see here is an example of how some people learned lessons from history while others, knowing the same history, refused to learn the same lessons. We can see something similar centuries later, with the Pharisee Gamaliel and his caution to other leaders concerning how to handle the followers of Jesus.
Read Acts 5:34–41. What parallels exist here with what happened to Jeremiah? More important, what lesson can we ourselves learn from history and from the mistakes of those who have come before us?
Adventist Sabbath School Lesson for Adults Q4 2015 «Jeremiah» Lesson 7 – The Crisis Continues