Opposition. Jeremiah faced it (chapters 28-29). Timothy faced it (1 Timothy 1). David faced it (Psalm 86). This seems to be a common theme in the passages from today’s One Year Bible reading.

Today’s chapters in the book of Jeremiah took place at a time when some of Israel’s population had already been taken captive to Babylon, but Jeremiah the prophet remained in Jerusalem with King Zedekiah and those who were not carried off. In the previous chapter to today’s reading, Jeremiah had encouraged submission, not revolt, to Babylon. In chapter 28, a false prophet, Hananiah, predicted freedom from the yoke of Babylon and the soon return of those who had been taken away to captivity. Jeremiah would have welcomed such an outcome (v. 6), but it was not what God had told him. A prophet was only a true prophet if what he said came true (v.9). What’s more, God instructed Jeremiah to confront Hananiah for his duplicity and inform him of punishment by death that same year, which indeed occurred (vv. 12-17). Don’t be a false prophet!

What’s more, additional false prophets who were with the captives in Babylon were also misleading the people there and calling Jeremiah back in Jerusalem a madman (29:26). Strong words! But again Jeremiah confronted the false prophets as well, and gave instructions and encouragement to the Jewish captives in Babylon, including the well-known words in 29:11: “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”

Timothy’s mission in Ephesus was to “instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines…” (1:3). Again, there was wrong teaching. Timothy was to “fight the good fight, keeping faith and a good conscience…” (1:18-19).

David wrote, “Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O LORD, have helped me and comforted me,” (Psalm 86:17, NIV).

Opposition? Contradiction, even ridicule? How do we deal with these situations when they appear in our lives? Today’s readings which deal with the lives of godly men can instruct us. We can bring these matters to the Lord as David did.

by Bob Busenitz

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