Reference text: Jeremiah 38:1-4


From a first glance at the text, what we see is three men approaching king Zedekiah to request for the death of Jeremiah. And from that perspective, this was nothing more than a conspiracy against God’s prophet.

At least, it seems so until we hear the reasoning behind their action. For starters, Jeremiah had done nothing wrong by proclaiming the counsel of God. As he had been told, thus he spoke. However, from the viewpoint of recipients, his words had been nothing but seeds of discouragement, and we can see why.

The core of his speaking to the people at this time can be summarised as follows ” everyone remaining in Jerusalem would die by sword, starvation, or disease, but anyone surrendering to the Babylonians would live, and that the city of Jerusalem would surely be captured by the king of Babylon’ (Jer 38:2). That was not very inspiring talk.

His accusers knew for a fact that ‘that kind of talk will undermine the morale of the soldiers and all the people too’ (vs 3-4). They expected some encouragement. Not that Jeremiah should have uttered what they wanted to hear and ignored the voice of God, but our minds are drawn to how much encouragement is valued.

So beloved, let us ‘encourage each other to build each other up, if we are not already doing.’ Let’s find a place for encouraging others in godliness.


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