Jeremiah 26 has the prophet being told by God to go and preach truth to the people. God tells Jeremiah “do not hold back a word. It may be they will listen, and every one turn from his evil way, that I may relent of the disaster that I intend to do to them because of their evil deeds”. Sort of reminds one of the task Jonah had to go preach to Ninevah. God’s had it with the people of Judah and Jerusalem, and sends Jeremiah to give them their last chance to get it right.
The required outcome was also shared boldly: “If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, and to listen to the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently”, God says destruction is coming along with a curse for the nation. He’s not tolerating their behavior and choices any longer. Jeremiah gives the word straight and direct, and “when Jeremiah had finished speaking….all the people laid hold of him, saying, “You shall die”! They didn’t like the message, so they decide to remove the messenger.
They drag him before those in charge and tell the rulers “This man deserves the sentence of death, because he has prophesied against this city, as you have heard with your own ears”. They wanted nothing to do with what Jeremiah has been telling them, so silencing him was the best option they could come up with. But Jeremiah spoke to all the officials and all the people, saying, “mend your ways and your deeds, and obey the voice of the Lord your God, and the Lord will relent”. He gives them the solution, but they aren’t interested.
So Jeremiah doesn’t apologize or cower. He tells them “as for me, behold, I am in your hands. Do with me as seems good and right to you”. Jeremiah knows where his strength and future come from. God’s in control in his life, and is his hope and strength. Jeremiah has no fear of what man might do to him. He was focused on serving the God who sent him. And God responds and cares for his needs. “The hand of Ahikam the son of Shaphan was with Jeremiah so that he was not given over to the people to be put to death”. God takes care and provides for those who are obedient to Him.