Prophets are looked at askance these days. Who wants to be scolded? Who wants to hear depressing facts about the coming destruction? Even if the world is going to hell in a handbasket, who wants to hear about that? Much more fun to watch football and drink beer.
So what do you do if you are convinced that such destruction is happening and feel called to wake people up? You might follow the path of Jeremiah–whose very name now means a long, mournful lamentation about the dire state of a society destroying itself.
Jeremiah was born into a family of priests and studied all the Scriptures diligently until his early 20s when he felt called to walk down the road to Jerusalem and begin fifty years of condemning his country for its failures, warning of its coming destruction. After about three years of his public tirades, the King of his country instituted far-reaching reforms much as Jeremiah demanded.
Jeremiah wasn’t at all satisfied. He wanted far more basic change. He gave a famous speech in the most important building in his country–the equivalent of America’s Capitol building. He urged people to quit relying on the priests of the temple, our Congressmen, and institute genuine reform of society.
He predicted that their society would be destroyed if they continued on their present path. For his troubles, he was arrested and banned from preaching in the Capitol. After some of his dire predictions came true, he collected all of his writings and presented them to the King. The King destroyed them and Jeremiah went into hiding.
When that King was replaced, Jeremiah emerged to again preach things the people didn’t want to hear. When he tried to leave his country, he was arrested and thrown into prison. The King secretly met with him now and then, but did not release him. The next King released him, but that King was assassinated. Jeremiah was then forced to leave his country but continued to rebuke his countrymen until they finally killed him.
So, if you want a peaceful, joy-filled life, Jeremiah’s path probably isn’t yours.
Then again, if you are convinced the world is on the path to destruction, you don’t have much choice, do you? You can either join the beer and football crowd as the world slides into oblivion or you can become a prophet for the Earth.
I have to admit I’m with the beer and football crowd right now, waiting for a prophet of the Earth to emerge.