#DailyDevotion In Whose Name Are You Speaking Repentance?
Jer 26:12-16 Then Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, “The LORD sent me to prophesy against this house and this city all the words you have heard. (13) Now therefore mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the LORD your God, and the LORD will relent of the disaster that he has pronounced against you. (14) But as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you. (15) Only know for certain that if you put me to death, you will bring innocent blood upon yourselves and upon this city and its inhabitants, for in truth the LORD sent me to you to speak all these words in your ears.” (16) Then the officials and all the people said to the priests and the prophets, “This man does not deserve the sentence of death, for he has spoken to us in the name of the LORD our God.”
The priests and prophets of Judah wanted Jeremiah to be executed because of his words against them for they had been preaching and practicing falsely and leading Judah astray. But now Jeremiah has his turn to speak. He does not deny he spoke the words of warning but he lets them know it was the Lord who had sent him to speak. Now in the presence of the elders and princes he repeats what he had spoken earlier in the chapter. He calls them to repentance. He tells them to mend their ways, obey the voice of the Lord and the Lord would relent of the disaster that is coming. He reminds them these are not his words but the word of the Lord.
So there is a warning of coming judgment and there is a promise of forgiveness if they heed the warning and repent. Jeremiah doesn’t care what happens to himself. He must speak the word of the Lord that was given to him. Better to face the people, the priest, prophets, elders and princes than the Lord God.
When we call people to repentance, do we let them know this is not from us. It is not our judgment, opinion or thinking. It is the Lord’s word. We should make sure if we are calling someone to repentance it is indeed the Lord’s word and not our opinion. When we call someone to repentance, do we not only show a person their sins according to the word of the Lord but also we hold out to them the word of promise? The law alone will only break someone or harden the heart. The good news of Jesus Christ is what turns hearts towards God and brings amendment of life. We must tell people forgiveness has been won for them by Jesus Christ. Eternal life is theirs if they trust Jesus to be their advocate and savior.
Now the princes and elders decide what Jeremiah said isn’t worthy of death. They say he is speaking in the name of the Lord. These are not Jeremiah’s words but he speaks in the name of the Lord. Unfortunately, they also do not believe the Lord’s words. While not condemning Jeremiah, they also do not repent. Now people you call to repentance may or may not repent when you call them to repentance with the Lord’s words, but hopefully they too will recognize you came in the Lord’s name and not your own.
Merciful and Almighty God, grant us true repentance from our sins and when you use us to call others to repentance may be speak humbly and from love in your name that people may recognize it is your word and not our own we speak. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.