"Uniting Christian & Jewish Clergy from Around the World"
WICKEDNESS FOR GOODNESS
"But as soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the LORD had commanded him to say, the priests, the prophets and all the people seized him and said, "You must die! Why do you prophesy in the LORD's name that this house will be like Shiloh and this city will be desolate and deserted?" And all the people crowded around Jeremiah in the house of the LORD" (Jeremiah 26:8-9 NIV).
I was in a busstop waiting for a bus when I overheard some students cursing some of their teachers and the external invigilator that came to invigilate the final external examinations that the students were doing. What was the sin of these teachers and the invigilator? They did not allow the students to engage in examination malpractices. These students were furious about the action of the teachers and the invigilator. One of them even proposed that they should organize an ambush where they will assault the teachers and the external invigilator.
I was wondering within me the gravity of the "sin" of the teachers and the invigilator. Were they not trying to mould the lives of these students? Would they help the future of the students if they allow them to perpetrate their unlawful act? Did the students realize the consequence of their action if they are caught? Many questions came to my mind that I could not even call them and advise them against their plans before I boarded the next bus to my destination.
Jeremiah found himself in similar situation. God sent him to the people of Judah to warn them of the imminent danger that will befall them because of their waywardness. Instead of them to appreciate him and repent of their sin, they – even including their religious leaders – were plotting to kill him. However, the Lord did not abandon him. He, as promised earlier, made him victorious over all these oppositions, though he was alone (Jeremiah 1: 19; 26:24; 33:1- 3; 36:26).
Are people paying back to you wickedness for the goodness you are doing to them? Are they persecuting you because of your kindness, godliness, righteousness or integrity? Does it seem that you are not loved because you do not approve of the wickedness, injustice, dishonesty, or corruption that the people of the world are known for? Be faithful. Remember, "The [Lord] who calls you is faithful and He will do it" (1 Thessalonians 5:24, NIV). "…He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one" (2 Thessalonians 3:3, NIV).
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
This message was first sent out on May 29, 2005.