and as soon as he had finished telling all the people what the LORD had commanded him to say, the priests and prophets and all the people seized him, shouting, "You must surely die!
I. THE PROPHET OF GOD MEETS WITH UNIVERSAL OPPOSITION.
II. HE IS IN PERSONAL DANGER.
1. The responsibility of the judgments predicted is attached to himself. This is due to a false principle of association, having its root in human ignorance and depravity. Not even God is responsible. The sinner must blame himself (Galatians 4:16).
2. The worst consequences are threatened. Hatred to God expresses itself in hatred to his servant. It is, therefore, violent and in defiance of all justice. Transgressors think to escape judgment by denying it and destroying its witnesses.
III. CHARACTER IS JEOPARDIZED. The verdict was but a half-hearted one, and did not meet with general assent. The worst charges are brought against Christian men who are faithful to their convictions; and it is not always the case that their groundlessness is made clear. This is part of the "reproach of Christ." - M.
St. Ignatius but an echo of the apostle's, "What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss that I may win Christ"? How well the early Christians understood these things by which we opportunists, cringing cowards, effeminate time-servers, as most of us are in this soft. sensuous, hypocritical age, have so utterly forgotten!
When Jeremiah had made an end of speaking all that the Lord had commanded him, the people took him, saying, Thou shalt surely die.I. THE TRUE PROPHET HAS A STERN MESSAGE TO DELIVER (4-7). If they ally themselves with Egypt, the Temple will be made desolate, as Shiloh had been destroyed by the Assyrians at the deportation of Israel after the fall of Samaria, Jerusalem will become a curse to all nations (will be recognised by all nations as having fallen by the curse of God). To prophesy smooth things in a sinful world is to be false to God. How often does even our blessed Lord denounce sin, and remind men of the wrath of God for it! (Matthew 11:21-24; Matthew 12:41, 42; Matthew 23:31-38, &c.)
II. THE TRUE PROPHET MAY NOT "DIMINISH A WORD" OF GOD'S MESSAGE, HOWEVER UNPOPULAR, OR UNPLEASANT, OR PERSONAL.
1. This message referred to the public policy of the nation. The morality of a nation as imperative as that of an individual
2. Other messages assail the sins of classes, from the king to the humblest citizen.
III. THE TRUE PROPHET WILL SPEAK FEARLESSLY.
IV. THE TRUE PROPHET IS PROMISED THE SUPPORT OF GOD.
V. THE TRUE PROPHET NEVER WAS AND NEVER CAN BE POPULAR, BUT MUST RAISE UP ENEMIES AGAINST HIMSELF.
IV. THE TRUE PROPHET WILL SPEAK PEACE AS WELL AS WRATH IF MEN REPENT.
(J. Cunningham Geikie, D. D.)
1. His prudence in alleging his Divine mission.
2. His charity in exhorting his enemies to repent.
3. His humility in saying, "Behold I am in your hand."
4. His magnanimity and freedom of speech in telling them that God would revenge his death.
5. His spiritual security and fearlessness of death in so good a cause and with so good a conscience.
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