Discovering the Slogan
The title to today's post is a slogan I read on a bumper sticker, in a bookstore. The moment I read the words,"What is popular is not always right; What is right is not always popular", the truth of the slogan sank into my mind and heart. That particular bumper sticker never adorned the bumper of a car or truck, it proclaimed its message from the side of our refrigerator.
Teaching My DaughtersCassie and Ashley, are fond of saying,"But Mom, all the other kids get to________________." (Place your own words in the blank.) Enter the bumper sticker. In the beginning, when my teen or preteen said this in the kitchen, I directed their attention to the bumper sticker and asked them to read the slogan to me. After some sighing and eye rolling, the reading would begin. My response was then," What does that mean?" More sighing and eye rolling followed my question, but I patiently looked at them, not saying a word. Clearly, Mom wasn't talking until she received an answer. Finally, I heard," Just because others do it, doesn't mean it is right for me." or a similar variation. The routine changed after Cassie and Ashley became familiar with the posted saying. All I had to do was point to the refrigerator after hearing the initial," But Mom, all the other kids get to____________." Either daughter would say," I know! I know! What's popular isn't always right, and what's right isn't always popular. I KNOW what it means, too. It means..."
My persistent message wasn't popular with my girls, but I knew it was one that they both needed to learn. God, the Father, had an unpopular message for his prophet Jeremiah to deliver to Israel. Jeremiah faithfully and persistently followed God's instructions. Whether they were popular, or not.
Jeremiah, a Faithful FollowerJeremiah faithfully followed God,(what's right isn't always popular.) even when confronted by popular worship practices that included idols (what's popular isn't always right). Jeremiah's people lived in a world that believed it was OK to worship more than one god. The Judeans felt it would be politically correct to include the gods of their powerful neighbors Babylon, Canaan, and Egypt, into their worship service. No one wanted to offend the sophisticated, educated neighbors by excluding their gods, so compromise was the wisest thing to do. Very few of the Judeans remained faithful to the God of their forefathers. The God who commanded,"You shall not have any gods before me. You shall not make for yourselves an idol..." (Exodus 20:3-4) Yes, it wasn't popular to follow the one God, Jehovah anymore.
Jeremiah, a Politically Incorrect ProphetGod called Jeremiah to be his prophet, equipping him to deliver a message to his fellow Judeans that was seen as politically incorrect to blasphemous. (You could be killed for blasphemy) However, Jeremiah was willing to be bold and and delivered an unpopular, politically incorrect message: unfaithfulness has consequences.
The house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly unfaithful to me,: declares the LORD. They have lied about the LORD; they said, "He will do nothing! No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine. The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them; so let what they say be done to them."