23
Nov
11

Punishing God’s Chosen Messenger

The book of Jeremiah talks of God’s punishment being delivered to the people of Judah, preparing them to be led away into exile.  But it also speaks of the mistreatment of God’s prophet, and his reaction to such abuse.  An extreme example of this second topic is found in today’s passage:

When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, the chief officer in the temple of the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put in the stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the LORD’s temple.  The next day, when Pashhur released him from the stocks, Jeremiah said to him, “The LORD’s name for you is not Pashhur, but Magor-Missabib.  For this is what the LORD says: ‘I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends; with your own eyes you will see them fall by the sword of their enemies. I will hand all Judah over to the king of Babylon, who will carry them away to Babylon or put them to the sword.  I will hand over to their enemies all the wealth of this city—all its products, all its valuables and all the treasures of the kings of Judah. They will take it away as plunder and carry it off to Babylon.  And you, Pashhur, and all who live in your house will go into exile to Babylon. There you will die and be buried, you and all your friends to whom you have prophesied lies.’”  — Jeremiah 20:1-6

I try to imagine the sheer temerity of Pashur, who was so blind to God’s chosen mouthpiece that he has been immortalized for all time as the man who had God’s prophet seized and beaten.  This action is on par with Judas’ betrayal of Jesus.  And he receives his just punishment for his actions – exile and death.

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