“And tell me, whatever has become of your prophets who preached all those sermons saying that the king of Babylon would never attack you or this land?” Jeremiah 37:19 (MSG)
“Old Testament Persons for $800, Alex.”
“A contemporary of the prophet Jeremiah, he was a false prophet who told the King that Babylon would never attack.”
[cue sound effect: crickets chirping]
I doubt even Watson the robot could get that one. The reality is that history did not record the names or messages of the false prophets. Perhaps there’s a random name etched on the fragment of a tablet or scroll and referenced in some obscure archaeology dissertation. But, let’s be real, it’s far from general public knowledge. Jeremiah’s story, however, and his writing are read and referenced by millions to this day 2500 years after he lived and died.
Forgive my little foray into navel contemplation this morning. I’ve been thinking a lot about relevance lately. I’ve been noodling on the idea of legacy. What of my life will be completely forgotten when they close the casket? What, if anything, will survive? Will anything from my life have any lasting value or significance?
What struck me in reading today’s chapter is the contrast. Jeremiah spoke what was true. And, while it was wildly unpopular and landed him in a dungeon, it has lasted the test of time. The other prophets spoke what was, in the moment, convenient and popular. Still, it was untrue. Even if history does record their names, it is nothing more than a tough piece of obscure trivia that would probably too tough for final Jeopardy.
Despite my many failures to this date in the journey, I really want my life, my words, and that which I produce to be marked by what is true. Perhaps, it will then have some lasting value.
Creative Commons photo courtesy of Flickr and Shawn Smith