Why was the prophet Jeremiah left in a cistern to die in 630 B.C.? In modern parlance, his accusers would say because he was a stick-in-the-mud. He wouldn't keep up with the times. His values ran contrary to the shenanigans that his society wanted to embrace. Plus, he was a loudmouth when it came to professing his countercultural beliefs. He was vehemently vocal in warning his neighbors to turn back to God and away from their sins of idolatry, arrogance and immorality.
The people did not want to hear any of this. To silence his voice, they lowered him into a deep, muddy-bottomed vat so that he would eventually die of starvation. They assumed that killing him would quiet him forever. They were wrong. In fact, the supreme irony is that his message continues to be heard more than 2,650 years later. His name and voice have survived to this day long after the voices and names of his attempted murderers have been silenced and forgotten.
Jeremiah, this stick-in-the-mud who railed against the hedonism of Babylon, became a saint-in-the-mud for God's righteousness. His solid faith did not falter under the weight of worldly whims, permissive passions or everyone-is-doing-it excuses. He was not afraid to get his feet dirty by standing up for the truth against those who preferred the murk and muck of falsehood. Can we say the same today?
Five weeks ago, former British model Elizabeth Hoad, who divorced herself from four failed relationships followed by more than 200 disastrous dating rendezvous, decided to wed Logan, her golden retriever! This mockery of the sacrament of marriage was cheered by friends and applauded by viewers worldwide. Has the ancient mud that clouded the truth proclaimed by Jeremiah become our modern-day quicksand of self-deception? Has biblical permissiveness been overcome by atheistic perversion? Has the reality of God's commandments been replaced with relativistic accommodations?
For Holy Homework: As a symbol of Jeremiah's strong faith and his being a stick-in-the-mud for God, let's insert a toothpick into a clean, dry sponge and set it as the centerpiece of our kitchen table. For the next 30 days, let's decide to become a saint-in-the-mud for Christ by creating one daily way to profess our faith to those around us. Examples can include praying for a loved one, refusing to complain, or practicing patience.
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