“He did evil in the eyes of the Lord his God and did not humble himself before Jeremiah the prophet, who spoke the word of the Lord.” 2 Ch. 36:12
Even though his kingdom was standing on very shaky ground and danger was looming from all sides, King Zedekiah remained rather defiant, refusing to bow down to God or to men. He might have believed that he was invincible and no one, either human or divine, could possible bring him down.
He obviously had no regard for the Lord and, quite naturally, he didn’t have any respect for the Lord’s servant. How could he, being a king over a nation, humble himself before Jeremiah who was a symbol of weakness and powerlessness, and the one who seemed to be weeping most of the time?
Being a minister of God’s church, I have seldom felt that the title ever brought me any sort of entitlement or respect. I have indeed occasionally sensed some disrespect from the people I have come in contact with.
“I don’t want to become a minister because it’s such a hard job,” someone responded while I was urging him to at least consider full-time ministry as a future career option.
I suppose the profession wouldn’t have been so difficult if it were handsomely compensated and well-respected. Well, this is beside the point. I am digressing.
Why should Jeremiah the prophet be commanding any respect from the king, or from anyone else? There was no other reason except this: He was the one “who spoke the word of the Lord.”
Instead of becoming so concerned about how I am perceived by lay people, I should focus my entire attention on speaking the word of God from the pulpit. Indeed, people may still fall asleep or become restless during the service, but their disrespect must be directed to God. I may be uttering my own words if I ever feel insulted when people quit listening to me.
People must know who God is before they can come to realize who they truly are. I am often amazed how highly people perceive themselves and what greatness they believe they are capable of achieving. Had Zedekiah had any personal encounter with the Almighty, his self-perception would have been radically different. True humility is impossible to achieve unless people become aware of their humanness.
Wednesday, March 28, 2018 9:13:00 AM