Lately I have been studying the Old Testament book Jeremiah during my quiet time with the Lord. While reading through the sixth chapter the fourteenth verse really jumped out at me. As I sat in my office I couldn’t get this verse off of my mind. So I decided to share my thoughts.
They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace. – Jeremiah 6:14 NASB
Peace: it’s a word used so often that almost any socially aware person in our society is numb to the sound of it by the time they are actually consciously aware of what it means. Dictionary.com puts it this way: the normal, nonwarring condition of a nation, group of nations, or the world.
In the context of this passage, the religious authority of Jeremiah’s day was saying that Israel was at peace–but that was so far from the truth. In fact, this was a point of tension throughout most of Jeremiah’s ministry that continually set him at odds against both ruling authorities, and false religious authorities. He would often deliver a prophetic message of impending invasion and disaster, many times at the behest of the king, which would be contrary to both what the king wanted to hear, and what the false prophets were saying. He would be told he was wrong, ignored, often jailed, and sometimes have his life threatened for not delivering the message the people wanted to hear.
There is a significant truth for us to take away from this. Often the true message of God, be it deliverance, redemption, or correction–is willfully ignored by the masses. Even if someone broaches the subject with you, there is no guarantee they will accept the truth you share with them. The point of this particular part of the passage is to illuminate for us the principle that people will often accept what they want to hear over what they need to hear. Not everyone certainly, but in Jeremiah’s day it was a majority. That makes it all the more important for the believer, to not only seek God’s truth in every situation with a deep reverence, but to also communicate it with loving compassion and unwavering commitment.
In an environment where people listen to what best satisfies their expectations, will, and wants–nothing less than speaking the “truth in love” (Eph 4:14-16) will do.
See the rest of the series here.