“But, O Lord of hosts, who judges righteously, who tests the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause.” (Jeremiah 11:20, ESV)
These words of Jeremiah are a reference to the Messiah would die for the sins of mankind. Yet the words spring forth from the prophet’s own struggles. The Lord had commanded him to preach warning and judgment and to cease praying for the nation. This was in response to the people’s disobedience to God’s covenant in favor of the gods of their pagan neighbors.
Naturally, Jeremiah’s negative pronouncements engendered opposition and persecution from the people of his own town. This was the first real opposition that he. He felt like a lamb led to the slaughter (11:19), for he was not expecting any problems. Perhaps the townspeople were afraid that their fellow countrymen would blame them for his words. Or perhaps they were annoyed because Jeremiah was calling for them to give up their own idols and false notions about Yahweh.
We Christians today find increasing opposition from the media, society and our fellow countrymen as well as friends and relatives. The people of this world do not want to change, do not want to submit their will to anyone, let alone God. Many churches cave in to this opposition by toning 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 government behavior 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.