The unadulterated truth of God’s word is medicine for the soul
But as soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the Lord had commanded him to say, the priests, the prophets and all the people seized him and said, “You must die! Why do you prophesy in the Lord’s name that this house will be like Shiloh and this city will be desolate and deserted?” And all the people crowded around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord. – Jeremiah 26:8-9
These are terrible times in which we live. For the most part people don’t want to hear God’s word in its purity. They prefer to hear the perverted version which is fed to them by false prophets. Consequently, they go to places where they can hear what they prefer to hear.
In the text, Jeremiah was faced with a similar dilemma, He delivered a message from, the Lord, to a people who did not want to hear it. He prophesied in the Lord’s house that the temple would be destroyed like Shiloh.
What was Shiloh? During the time of Eli, the high priest, under whom Samuel the prophet was mentored, Shiloh was the place where the tabernacle of the Lord stood. It was a house built of stone and covered with the tabernacle’s curtain – as opasuggests that it was totally destroyed, probably by the Philistines around 1050 BC.
At the time, the priest permitted ungodliness to prevail in both the Lord’s house and among the people. For this reason, the presence of the Lord was absent from the temple.
This was foreshadowed during the time of Solomon. After Solomon has completed and dedicated the temple, the Lord appeared to him and warned, “But if you or your sons turn away from me and do not observe the commands and decree I have given you and go off to serve other gods and worship them, then I will cut off Israel from the land I have given them and will reject this temple I have consecrated for my Name.” – I Kings 9:6-7.
Often, we get angry when people tell us about our wrongs. When people do that, they are giving us an opportunity to improve. They care and are interested in our welfare.
Scripture tells us in Proverbs 3:12: “… the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.” The Lord warned the people through the prophet and he warns us through his Word because he cares. It is not God’s intention to destroy anyone. He sends warning because he wills it that all mankind would turn away from evil and seek his face.
There are times when your doctor places you on a new medication and in the early stages of taking the new medication, it does not seem to be working. For a while, you may get a bit nauseated. Consequently, you want to request that your doctor change it to something else.
However, instead of changing the new medication, your doctor may request that you give it some time to work, allowing it to get adjusted to your system. Then, gradually, your body begins to adjust to the new medications and the bad feeling, or the nausea goes away.
The unadulterated truth of God’s word is needed medicine for us all. It is the cure to all of our ills. Even though we may not want to hear it, we need to hear it.
The people of Jeremiah’s time did not like what he was saying and the people in our day do not like what we in the church are saying. Notwithstanding that, when we speak God’s truth, we speak words from the mouth of God himself. The people of the world do not need what they prefer. They need the truth of God’s word. Whether they like it or not, it is what they need.
As Christians, even though the world does not want to hear what is right, we are to feed them with the truth of God’s word. We are to tell it over and over again, because that is what they need to hear. The unadulterated truth of God’s word is medicine for the soul. It is the cure that makes us whole. Amen.
• Rev. Samuel M. Boodle, pastor at the Lutheran Church of Nassau, can be reached at P.O. Box N 4794, Nassau, Bahamas, or telephone 323-4107, E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or Website: www.Nassaulutheranchurch.org.