What voices are you following? The people and prophets who only make you feel good, or the voices of true believers who tell it like it is whether good or bad? In our Bible passage for today Jeremiah was called by the Lord to bring a difficult message to the nation of Judah.
The people had sinned and had left the true God of Israel. They were involved in depravity, injustice, and the worship of false Gods. Because of this they were facing destruction and oppression and terror from the Bablylonian Empire. When a priest named Pashhur heard this message he was not ready to hear any bad news. So, he had Jeremiah arrested and beaten. But Jeremiah was not deterred. God’s judgment would come, swift and sure, on all who had prophesied lies. But those who repented and turned to God had the hope of salvation.
This scripture passage in the twentieth chapter of the book of Jeremiah in the Bible could be entitled, “Flattery or Truth.” Because, that is the choice we have each day. Between the false voices of flattery and sin, and the voice of God in His word as He interrogates reality and tells you the truth.
(Jeremiah 20) 1 When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, the official in charge of the temple of the Lord, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, 2 he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put in the stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the Lord’s temple.
3 The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The Lord’s name for you is not Pashhur, but Terror on Every Side. 4 For this is what the Lord says: ‘I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyes you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. I will give all Judah into the hands of the king of Babylon, who will carry them away to Babylon or put them to the sword.
5 I will deliver all the wealth of this city into the hands of their enemies—all its products, all its valuables and all the treasures of the kings of Judah. They will take it away as plunder and carry it off to Babylon. 6 And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied lies.’”