“Hate Speech” #6

Monday, February 22, 2016

“Therefore the princes said unto the king, We beseech thee, let this man be put to death: for thus he weakeneth the hands of the men of war that remain in this city, and the hands of all the people, in speaking such words unto them: for this man seeketh not the welfare of this people, but the hurt” (Jeremiah 38:4 KJV).

Who is “this man?” And, what words is he speaking to make him worthy of being “put to death?”

According to the verses previous to today’s Scripture, Jeremiah preached: “[2] Thus saith the LORD, He that remaineth in this city shall die by the sword, by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live. [3] Thus saith the LORD, This city shall surely be given into the hand of the king of Babylon’s army, which shall take it.”

In today’s Scripture, Judah’s princes complained to King Zedekiah that Jeremiah was discouraging the Jewish people from fighting and resisting the Babylonians. Unbelief at its very best! Jeremiah was preaching in the name of JEHOVAH—“thus saith the LORD”—and JEHOVAH God had already determined that the Babylonians would come in and defeat the Jews. That is, Jeremiah was telling Israel it was no use fighting the Babylonians, for God had already determined that judgment on the Jews. Israel’s God had given them centuries of warnings to reform or be punished, but the Jews never turned back to Him.

Of course, Jeremiah was portrayed as the evil one. Judah’s princes accused him of not seeking Judah’s wellbeing. In fact, it was they who were not seeking Judah’s wellbeing. They were the evil ones. To fight against JEHOVAH, as they were doing, was sure to lead to physical harm and death. Contrariwise, to obey JEHOVAH’S words through Jeremiah, and submit to Babylon, “he that goeth forth to the Chaldeans shall live; for he shall have his life for a prey, and shall live.”

What another interesting parallel to today’s Scripture. Those who rebel against God, they are “innocent.” It is the Bible-believing Christian, speaking against injustice and unrighteousness, who is the evildoer!