Jeremiah is often referred to as “the weeping prophet.” A woeful figure, Jeremiah bemoans the Jewish leadership of his day for their failures at communicating the truth to God’s people. As was to be expected, Jeremiah received the punishments of such charges. He was persecuted by his beloved leaders and people.
Many times, Jeremiah cried out to God to remove, or at least change, the message on his lips. For his prophecy foretold doom and destruction for darling Judah while his contemporaries spun tales of good news and good fortune.
As time wore on, however, these messages of prosperity would prove to be short lived. It would become obvious (although his contemporaries may have continued in blindness) that the word Jeremiah spoke really were the Word of God.
And so, by reading through the book of Jeremiah, I discovered that God’s words and His message are not always lovely (in a very narrow, human sense of that word). God does not speak rosily about reality; He speaks honestly.
So, I learned that any time a person attempts to speak the truth and their message contains no harshness, that message is very likely not from God. Now, as I walk with God, I find that this judgement is not one that I reserve for others. I reserve it solely for myself. I do not use it as a razor by which to criticize others. Rather, this judgement serves as a means to apply the messages of others and, more importantly, the message of God’s Word to my own heart.
Do I allow the truth about myself and the realities of this world to affect me? Or do I quickly brush aside those uncomfortable aspects in favor of the more affirmative messages delivered my way?
In answering this question as honestly as I possibly could, I found that there was a fine, thin line in how I shaped my response.