“Thou speakest falsely”

Jeremiah 40:13-16 Moreover Johanan the son of Kareah, and all the captains of the forces that were in the fields, came to Gedaliah to Mizpah, And said unto him, Dost thou certainly know that Baalis the king of the Ammonites hath sent Ishmael the son of Nethaniah to slay thee? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam believed them not. Then Johanan the son of Kareah spake to Gedaliah in Mizpah secretly, saying, Let me go, I pray thee, and I will slay Ishmael the son of Nethaniah, and no man shall know it: wherefore should he slay thee, that all the Jews which are gathered unto thee should be scattered, and the remnant in Judah perish? But Gedaliah the son of Ahikam said unto Johanan the son of Kareah, Thou shalt not do this thing: for thou speakest falsely of Ishmael.

The passage that stuck out this morning was the final verse above. We see a man concerned for the life and soul for another man. And so he approaches him with that concern. In fact, this man is willing to put his life on the line for the life of the man for whom he is concerned. But the man’s initial response is, “thou speakest falsely” – he accused him. He discredited him as discrediting another man. I’ve seen this happen when the pastor, or youth pastor, or a fellow friend brings a legitimate concern for the soul of another man to that man. And so many times, our natural reaction is a defensive one, or worse yet, an offensive one. How many times have we seen concerns go unheeded, and that ends up being to the hurt of that person? I pray that today I and my family would take and appreciate the concerns of others – be it the preacher, parents, the youth pastor, teacher, etc., and not form the natural defense that seeks to put itself in the way.

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