[From Oct. 20, 2015]
"Then the priests and the prophets said to the officials and to all the people, 'This man deserves the sentence of death because he has prophesied against this city...'"
We Americans are a proud people! We love our country. "Land of the free and home of the brave!" Our forefathers (and foremothers!) fought and died so that we might have true freedom. It's really one of the things that makes this country great. And yet, it's almost seen as sacreligious today to utter a word against our country.
Jeremiah lived at a time when his country (Judah, aka "Israel") was going through a difficult transition. Their glory days were past. They were about to be attacked by the Babylonians. It didn't take a rocket scientist to see those signs. But many were preaching that it would be ok. God would save them. Fear not! Those are comforting words. But they weren't true. Jeremiah knew God's plan was to allow the Babylonians to attack (and conquer) Judah. He also knew the people had failed to follow the LORD and align their lives with His. So he spoke out against his country, and it almost got him killed. But it was the truth.
This story reminds me to be courageous in speaking the truth - even it it upsets some because it questions our country's behavior. We are called to follow God's call on our lives and to obey the laws of the nation we live in. But sometimes those two come in conflict. We need to speak up (and speak out) when that happens.
LORD, I love my country! Thank you for all who have gone before to make this nation great. And I want to be part of making us great for generations to come. So help em to speak up whenever I sense a divergence from the path you're calling me. But give me the humility and wisdom to discern your truth, not simply espouse my personal beliefs. AMEN.