Chapter-a-Day Jeremiah 37

“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

2 thoughts on “Chapter-a-Day Jeremiah 37”

  1. This has been one of my favorite quotes for years—

    The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is. –Winston Churchill

    It’s never easy to stand for the truth, but the “Truth” always stands.

    Keep it up, Tom, you’re already leaving a legacy.

  2. Please don’t send me back to that dungeon in the house of Jonathan the secretary. I’ll die there!”

    One of the lessons I have learned over the past 4 years or so is the old lesson, “Ask and you shall receive.” It took a lot of courage, I imagine, for Jeremiah to ask the king’s favor in not putting him back in the dungeon. Yet if he hadn’t asked, he likely would have been put back there. My wife’s job was the first big example to me of asking for what you desire. She asked to work mother’s hours with summers off and the employer obliged. It would have never happened if she wouldn’t have asked. These lessons, among others, have helped me to be more assertive in asking for things up front, no matter how impossible the request might be. You see, if you don’t ask you may never know the answer.

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