#DailyDevotion Don’t Judge Me!
Jer 26:8-11 And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, “You shall die! (9) Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘This house shall be like Shiloh, and this city shall be desolate, without inhabitant’?” And all the people gathered around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD. (10) When the officials of Judah heard these things, they came up from the king’s house to the house of the LORD and took their seat in the entry of the New Gate of the house of the LORD. (11) 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, as you have heard with your own ears.”
What words were these that upset the priests, the prophets and the people around the temple? Well these previous verses, Jer 26:4-6 “You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, (5) and to listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently, though you have not listened, (6) then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.’” Well if you didn’t think you were doing anything wrong and you heard these things you might want to kill Jeremiah also.
The people of Judah were pretty strange at this time. On the one hand they were worshipping other gods besides YHWH, they were living not according to the law of Moses and acting despicably and on the other hand they were upset because Jeremiah said the Lord was going to tear down the temple and Jerusalem with it because of their sins. It’s like they idolized the temple, because they sure weren’t worshipping the Lord alone or fearing him.
You know if these same people lived today they would have responded to Jeremiah’s warning with, “Don’t judge me! Only God can judge me.” But God the Lord was judging them through the prophet’s mouth. You can be sure and certain when you point out someone’s sins today, in order to correct them and bring them to repentance, they are going to react in much the same way as the people in Jeremiah’s day. Do not fear them. If you are correcting them and calling them to repentance over a sin the Lord has revealed is sin because of your love for them and a desire to see them saved you are doing a good thing. Of course you are not Jeremiah. You better make sure you have pulled the log out of your own eye first before telling other people to be repentant. Never the less, when you speak the word of the Lord it is not you condemning them and judging them but it is the Word and their own hearts that judge and condemn them.
When we bring the word of the Lord to people which condemns we need to be ready to also hold out the word of the Lord the forgives, restores and renews namely the sacrifice of Christ Jesus and his resurrection from the dead. To those whom the word has wrought contrition, sadness, heartbrokenness and terror, the word that binds, sooths and relieves needs to be spoken.
Heavenly Father, grant that we may remove the log from our own eyes that we may with tender hearts call those whom we meet to contrition and repentance through your law and the good news of Jesus Christ, that we all might be saved and live with your forever. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.