Jeremiah 28.1-6 and Jude 3 – Faithfulness to the word of God.
Posted: 29 January 2013 in Jeremiah, Jude

“And it came to pass the same year….. that Hananiah the son of Azur the prophet, which was of Gibeon, spake unto me in the house of the Lord….. saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon. Within two full years will I bring again into this place all the vessels of the Lord’s house, that Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon took away from this place, and carried them to Babylon: And I will bring again to this place Jeconiah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah….. Then the prophet Jeremiah said….. Amen: the Lord do so: the Lord perform thy words which thou hast prophesied, to bring again the vessels of the Lord’s house, and all that is carried away captive, from Babylon into this place.”

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

More than any other, the attribute required of somebody who is be a prophet of God is that he or she desires to be nothing more than a passive channel, through which God speaks to the world – adding nothing, and subtracting nothing. Humility in other words. As a citizen of Judah, Jeremiah could hardly have felt happy about the message God had charged him to deliver (the destruction of Jerusalem), but, as a faithful servant of the Lord, he delivered it nevertheless. That is why he is still remembered many centuries after he lived. Hananiah, on the other hand, seems to have imagined that he could negate the revealed will of God simply by asserting his own will. That, it need hardly be said, is the height of foolishness.

In the New Testament, as the verse from the Epistle of Jude illustrates, there is a similar emphasis upon the need to be completely passive in passing on the faith once delivered to the saints – again adding nothing and subtracting nothing.

Our duty in the twenty first century is to faithfully communicate the word of God, which is now to be found in the scriptures; whether that be through a careful and reverent translation of the Bible, or in our verbal communication of its contents. But there is now, as in Jeremiah’s time, the ever present temptation tone down anything (such as eternal punishment) which sits ill with the passing spirit of the age. However, confronted with that which is spoken by the eternal God himself, how little our culturally conditioned thoughts matter!

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever.” (Isaiah 40.8)

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