There are hundreds of people speaking, singing, or writing of bravery. While some who do this speak the truth, some stretch the term brave in hopes of boasting about themselves and looking better in the eyes of others. To be brave takes a lot of courage. In fact, brave is defined (by The Oxford Universal Dictionary) as such:
Brave – adj. 1. Courageous, intrepid, stout-hearted (as a good quality).
Then, if one is curious enough, one can look up the term courageous (in the same dictionary):
Courageous – 1. Having courage; brave, fearless, valiant. 2. Eager (to do something)
While these definitions are all well and good, the terms take on a new meaning when applied in life. To be brave in the face of overwhelming odds that threaten to tear one down, there has to be some trust placed somewhere and even a dash of confidence. However, when in the moment that calls for bravery we aren’t thinking about all of this, only the two options we have. As Yoda wisely once put it: ‘Do or do not. There is no try’.
To explain, let’s dive into the Book of Jeremiah, particularly chapter 26:
“Early in the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, this word came from the Lord: ‘This is what the Lord says: Stand in the courtyard of the Lord’s house and speak to all the people of the towns of Judah who come to worship in the house of the Lord. Tell them everything I command you; do not omit a word. Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from their evil ways. Then I will relent and not inflict on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done. Say to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: If you do not listen to me and follow my law, which I have set before you, and if you do not listen to the words of my servants the prophets, whom I have sent to you again and again (though you have not listened), then I will make this house like Shiloh and this city a curse among all the nations of the earth.”Jeremiah 26:1-6, emphasis added
While I believe when God gives you a word to share with others He will help you to remember it, I can’t help but picture Jeremiah standing alone, looking up at the sky as God speaks, and jotting everything down as fast as he can write in the sand/dirt so he can memorize it and not mess this up. I mean, when God Almighty tells you ‘do not omit a word’ I’m pretty sure He means it. In Warren W. Wiersbe’s book ‘Be Decisive’ in relation to this moment, he writes, “Jeremiah preached exactly what God commanded him to preach and didn’t alter the message in order to please the people. The false prophets preached what the people wanted to hear, but Jeremiah preached what the people needed to hear. “Whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak” (1:7)” (p134).
“The priests, the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speak these words in the house of the Lord. But as soon as Jeremiah finished telling all the people everything the Lord had commanded him to say, the priests, the prophets and all the people seized him and said, “You must die! Why do you prophesy in the Lord’s name that this house will be like Shiloh and this city will be desolate and deserted?” And all the people crowded around Jeremiah in the house of the Lord.”Jeremiah 26:7-9
To give a little background information, the people of Judah claimed to follow God but did so many sinful things that their actions said otherwise. The prophets were heavily speaking believable lies about who God was and what His law stated. It was so bad that in 23:14c, God says of the prophets, “They are all like Sodom to me” for they were not helping anyone turn to the Lord and righteousness. Of the people, in that same verse God says, “the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah”. Yet, when Jeremiah spoke the words given to him by God, the priests, prophets, and people believed he was delivering false words about God and wanted to kill him for blaspheming.
To be continued…