The complaints in Jeremiah’s critique could well come from the press gallery in the Canberra, or Washington, or London of today. Unjust bias for the wealthy, subterfuge, graft, double-dealing – all happening amongst the ruling class of Israel in the years leading up to the first destruction of Jerusalem’s temple and forced exile of the population to Babylon in 587 BC. Surely there is nothing new under the sun.
Jeremiah’s frustration is palpable. For almost forty years, no one listened to him. Even today, though remembered, his name is used as an epithet for pessimism and doom. Yet his message carried an antidote for us who stand at today’s crossroads.
Thus says the Lord:
Stand at the crossroads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way lies; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls.
But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’
Jeremiah did not cease, and he was vindicated.