How do people respond to a prophet’s message? In quick succession I see widely varying responses to Jeremiah’s warnings:
Fear. People who heard the warnings realized this was serious and needed to be heard by the king. (36:16)
Deny. After King Jehoiakim heard each section read to him, he cut it off and burned it, showing no sign of repentance (nor his officials). (36:23-25)
Ignore. King Zedekiah would not listen to Jeremiah. (37:2)
Shoot the messenger. Jeremiah was flogged and imprisoned in a dungeon (37:15) and later thrown into a muddy cistern to die. (38:4-5)
Repent and obey. Sadly, I don’t see an example of this one in the book of Jeremiah. But how about the Ninevites to whom Jonah preached? Do the pagans put “God’s people” to shame?
When God’s word doesn’t agree with my plans or priorities, what do I do? Bend the rules? Make excuses? Ignore it? God, help us to humbly accept Your rebuke, repent, and experience the joy of seeing You work in our world!