每日诗歌: 倘若 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y1dUOHsS-pk)
Jeremiah 25 [Read]
Jeremiah 26 [Read]
2 Timothy 3 [Read]
Am I willing to die for my faith? If I know that I will get myself in deep trouble by saying certain things, will I still say it? For most believers of the 21st century in US, we probably will not face this kind of situation. But in many parts of the world, Christians could still be under such persecution. Either way, it is worthwhile to think about such questions.
Jeremiah was facing that kind of threat, and it should not be a surprise considering the kind of messages he prophesized. For the people of Judah, Jeremiah preached that “(God) will completely destroy them and make them an object of horror and scorn, and an everlasting ruin” (Jer 25:9). The people will be taken to Babylon for 70 years. In the mean time, all the other nations will also be judged and punished by God. “See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that bears my Name, and will you indeed go unpunished?” (25:29)
Such message did not go well with King Jehoiakim and his priests and prophets, and they threatened to kill Jeremiah (26:8). Jeremiah refused to back down, for he knew where his prophecy came from (26:12). He was not concerned about this own safety (26:14), and he continued to call for the people to repent so that they might be spared with the disaster (26:13). “…for in truth the LORD has sent me to you to speak all these words in your hearing” (26:15). He is willing to die for his calling from God, and such dedication and courage is indeed admirable. In contrast, Uriah who escaped to Egypt to avoid the threat was brought back to Jerusalem and killed.
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2Ti 3:12). Paul certainly said that to Timothy based on experiences. He had his own share of afflictions and persecutions, but he never backed down from preaching the gospel. He was willing to die and indeed was killed at the end for his faith. The 2nd century church father Tertullian famously said: “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church”. As we sat comfortably in front of our computer and read the Bible, it benefits us to think about how serious we are about our faith. Are we willing to die for it? If not, we are probably not going to live for it either.
Keep on reading.