Wednesday of Holy Week
Scripture: Jeremiah 11:18-23 (NKJV)
18 Now the Lord gave me knowledge of it, and I know it; for You showed me their doings. 19 But I was like a docile lamb brought to the slaughter; and I did not know that they had devised schemes against me, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, and let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name may be remembered no more.”
20 But, O Lord of hosts, You who judge righteously, testing the mind and the heart, let me see Your vengeance on them, for to You I have revealed my cause.
21 “Therefore thus says the Lord concerning the men of Anathoth who seek your life, saying, ‘Do not prophesy in the name of the Lord, lest you die by our hand’— 22 therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Behold, I will punish them. The young men shall die by the sword, their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; 23 and there shall be no remnant of them, for I will bring catastrophe on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their punishment.'”
St. Paul wrote, “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.” Jeremiah was indeed an heir of the kingdom. For the sake of God’s Word, Jeremiah suffered at the hands of the people. He brought God’s Word of judgment to them, and the people sought to kill him: “Let us cut him off from the land of the living.” Sound familiar?
Another prophet, Isaiah, said this about the Messiah sent by God: “By oppression and judgment He was taken away. Yet who of His generation protested? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people He was punished.”
The anger of sinful mankind toward God is real. It manifests itself in hostility toward God’s children, and sadly, it can also be seen in how God’s children sometimes treat each other. Maybe it is anger. Maybe is it the thoughtless words that are spoken. Or maybe it is the “silent treatment.” Whatever it takes to mistreat another, sin will find a way.
God did not abandon Jeremiah. He preserved him in true faith unto life everlasting. Likewise, God will not abandon you. He gave you His Spirit in Holy Baptism, and each day He brings you to repentance and turns you to Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.
Grant we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who of our evil deeds are continually afflicted, may mercifully be relieved by the Passion of Thine Only-Begotten Son. Amen.