Jeremiah is a hero of the faith, at least in part, because the suffering he endured for more than 40 years never caused him to give up. Even when he had a clear out—he kept going, kept loving, kept pursuing God’s shalom for the people around him. So what was his secret? How did he keep going?
Main Text: Jeremiah 40:1-6; 1:19
As Jeremiah had been saying for 40 years, Jerusalem finally fell, conquered by its adversaries in 586 BC. All of Israel’s residents (except for a few, mostly very poor and unimportant) were chained and marched off to Babylonia. Yet a few miles outside Jerusalem, Jeremiah is singled out by his captors and asked: “Do you want to stay? Or do you want to come with us—I’ll protect you—and live in Babylon?”
Jeremiah is faced with a choice. Is he ready to be done? He’s been seeking the shalom of his people for decades, without success or gratitude. Would he rather have retirement and ease? Or would he rather keep doing his hard work on YHWH’s behalf?
Jeremiah doesn’t choose ease. Instead he chooses like someone who remembers what YHWH had told him at the very beginning of his journey: “I am with you.“
Perhaps this is what settled Jeremiah’s choice for him. Perhaps it’s what can settle ours too. Are we ready to give up?