Two prophets give conflicting messages in Jeremiah. One speaks of a hard road that requires obedience in circumstance. The other casts a promising future of peace, restoration and reduced sentence. Only one will be right.
As Paul writes to Timothy, he tells of a time when people will turn their ears to hear what they want to hear.
3 For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will reject the truth and chase after myths. 2 Timothy 4:3-4, NLT.
God’s sovereignty speaks from the testaments. Sovereign over nations. Sovereign over individuals as they stand alone.
4 Give them this message for their masters: ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel, says: 5 With my great strength and powerful arm I made the earth and all its people and every animal. I can give these things of mine to anyone I choose. Jeremiah 27:4-5, NLT.
16 The first time I was brought before the judge, no one came with me. Everyone abandoned me. May it not be counted against them. 17 But the Lord stood with me and gave me strength so that I might preach the Good News in its entirety for all the Gentiles to hear. And he rescued me from certain death. 18 Yes, and the Lord will deliver me from every evil attack and will bring me safely into his heavenly Kingdom. 2 Timothy 4:16-18, NLT.
Paul speaks of roads that require obedience in circumstance too.
I solemnly urge you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus, who will someday judge the living and the dead when he comes to set up his Kingdom: 2 Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. 2 Timothy 4:1-2, NLT.
5 But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at telling others the Good News, and fully carry out the ministry God has given you. 2 Timothy 4:5, NLT.
God, you are sovereign in all things. All things. In peace and in suffering, in times favorable or not. Help me to hear your correction and rebuke, and give me strength to speak with patience and love in difficult situations.