“The Lord made it known to me and I knew; then you showed me their deeds. But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter.” (Jeremiah 11:18, ESV)
We believers realize that these words of Jeremiah are a prophecy of Jesus the Messiah who would die for the sins of mankind. Jesus indeed was the lamb of God led to the slaughter for us. Yet when Jeremiah spoke these words he was referring to his own struggles. The Lord had commanded him to preach warning and judgment and to cease praying favorably for the nation of Judah. This was because the people had disobeyed God and broke His covenant by engaging in gross and detestable worship of the gods of their pagan neighbors.
The complaint voiced by Jeremiah resulted from his negative prophecies which engendered opposition and persecution from the people of his own town. This was the first real opposition that he experienced. This is why he felt like a lamb led to the slaughter for he was not expecting any problems. Perhaps the townspeople were afraid that their fellow countrymen would blame them for Jeremiah’s words. Or perhaps they were annoyed because Jeremiah was calling for them to give up their own idols which they saw no reason to do. They had abandoned Yahweh. Now He was going to discipline and judge them.
These days we Christians are encountering stiff and well-organized opposition from our countrymen. This comes via the pronouncements and teaching of the media, our culture, as well as friends and relatives. The people of this world are immersed in idolatry and sinfulness which they see no reason to abandon. They see no reason to change nor do they want to submit their will to anyone, certainly not to the Lord God. They want the gospel of grace and tolerance that ignores sin, not the gospel of grace and law which warns people of their depravity and so lead them to find faith and forgiveness in Jesus alone. To accommodate and attract people many churches have toned down the demands of the gospel to make it more politically correct and tolerant of diversity. In the process, they call Jesus a liar. Such accommodation to popular opinion and pressure from media and government makes the gospel worthless and the church and the Christian unfit for the Lord’s service. Our only recourse in the face of opposition is to continue to remain true to God’s word and to call on the Lord as Jeremiah did.