Twenty-Three Years

Twenty-Three Years

17 August 2016

Reading: Jeremiah 23-25; John 19


2 Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people in Judah and Jerusalem, 3 “For the past twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah, until now—the Lord has been giving me his messages. I have faithfully passed them on to you, but you have not listened.” (Jeremiah 25:2-3 NLT)

“For the past twenty-three years the Lord has been giving me his messages and I have faithfully passed them on to you, but you have not listened.” Jeremiah spent his adult lifetime receiving messages from the Lord and passing them on to his people in Israel and Judah. Jeremiah was rejected, mocked, accused of treason, beaten and imprisoned. They didn’t listen and finally the disaster and judgment he warned of happened just as he said it would.

Jonah, on the other hand, prophesied to wicked Nineveh for three days and the entire pagan city, from the king on his throne to the homeless man on the street, repented in sackcloth and ashes. What’s that about?

I admire Jeremiah but I sure don’t envy him! It’s hard to say unpopular things to kings, priests, and powerful business leaders. It’s hard to stand alone. It’s hard to be unpopular and rejected by the people you are trying to help. I don’t know if I could do it as faithfully as Jeremiah did.

I do know that there is a lesson here – numbers don’t always tell the real story! It’s not always and only about measurable results. Sometimes it’s simply obedience and faithfulness, rather than success and popularity, that validates one’s service in God’s eyes. Some things will be shown in the future more than known in the present.


Father, Whether you call me to do something that’s measurably successful or apparently fruitless, may I have the discernment to know your will and the faithfulness to obey. I know that you’re looking for faithful obedience over a lifetime more than spectacular results for the moment. Help me to be willing to dance for an audience of One! Amen.

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