Jeremiah 12:6 ESV For even your brothers and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; they are in full cry after you; do not believe them, though they speak friendly words to you.”
I have begun a new sermon series on the book of Jeremiah. You can find the sermons (just one so far) on here at sermonaudio.com/crc, youtube channel Unholy Charade (here is a link to the first sermon), and on the Christ Reformation Church Facebook page.
Jeremiah understood by hard experience what the cost of following Christ is. And one of the prices he paid was that of being hated by his family and close friends.
Jeremiah 20:10 ESV For I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” say all my close friends, watching for my fall. “Perhaps he will be deceived; then we can overcome him and take our revenge on him.”
When Christ tells us that following Him will often require “hating father and mother,” this is the kind of thing He had in mind. Many times parents refuse to walk the narrow way with their children. Truth is too bright of a light for them, and yet we must resolve to go anyway.
Add to the formula the deceptions of the wicked. Those of you who have been targeted by a domestic abuser, a sociopath, a narcissist – know that the lies such evil ones spread cause division. People close to us typically choose to believe the lies because they are more comfortable to embrace than the truth. They are not wise about evil – and really, they do not want to be.
So we can identify with Jeremiah. And we can also be encouraged by the same promises the Lord made to him:
Jeremiah 1:8 ESV Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the LORD.”