Mar 31, 2009, 7:35 AM
There is a popular saying that when the truth is buried in the night, in the morning it rises.This is another way of expressing the words of our Lord Jesus Christ that anything that is covered will be uncovered (Mathew 10:20).The gospel summons us to be men and women of the truth and to live by it.It sets us free and makes us live in the joy, peace and freedom of the children of God.
The gospel states: “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). There is much insincerity and hypocrisy in the world of our time and much conspiracy and hostility towards the truth that many apostles of the truth are under an intense pressure to reconsider their positions. The word of God today assures all such people that they are in a winning camp and as such have no need to back-pedal.
The reason why many people fight against the truth is because it challenges human weakness which we most of the times don’t want to give up. Laziness, greed, lust, ambition, and pride are among many things in our human nature that we need to struggle hard to resist and overcome. It needs a great deal of rigour and painful self-discipline to conquer these traits, and many of us are not yet ready for such scrupulous exercise. The result it that we settle for these evils.
When the truth challenges us about the sad reality of our lives, instead of accepting the challenge, we become hostile to the truth, deceiving ourselves into believing that by such hostility to the truth, the reality with which it challenges us disappears. This is the situation in which the Israelites of the days of the prophet Jeremiah found themselves. Jerusalem was under the threat of their enemies because of the sins of the people and they were deceiving themselves into believing that some kind of military manoeuvre will save them. Jeremiah came to announce to them, the reality of the issue, but they were afraid of the truth so “the kings leading men spoke to the king. ‘Let Jeremiah is put to death, he is unquestionably disheartening the remaining soldiers in the city, and all the people too by talking like this. The fellow does not have the welfare of this people at heart so much as it’s ruin” (Jeremiah 38:4).
The question wasn’t that Jeremiah wasn’t having the welfare of the people at heart as the leading men of Judah misconstrue it. The question was that whenever truth is the issue at stake, a disciple of truth must take his stand by it no matter what it is going to cost him, even if his life. Christ who is the truth Himself has already said that anybody who loves a father or a mother more than Him is not worthy of Him. Unity and peace is very important, but Christ still insisted that His truth could not be sacrificed at the altar of that. He stated “Do you supposed that I Am here to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division. For from now on a household of five will be divided: three against two and two against three; the father divided against the son, son against father, mother against daughter, daughter against mother, mother in-law against daughter in-law, daughter in-law against mother in-law” (Luke 12:51-53).
As a matter of fact, Jeremiah was acting out of his great interest in the welfare of his people. He knew that if there was still any hope for his people, it was only in the truth that the hope could be found. Christ laid down His life for the sake of the truth that saved mankind. The prophets and apostle and countless matyrs of different ages in the history of mankind have also done that, showing that there is no price too much to be paid, in order to stand by the truth that endures forever. For this reason, in those words originally addressed to the early Jewish Christians, the scripture stated: “in the fight against sin, you have not resisted to the point of death” (Hebrews 12:4).
Truth is great and immortal and makes those who fight for it great. Those who shy away from it, no matter how great or well placed that they might seem to be easily lose their authority. Those who fight against it are sure to be defeated and to sink beneath. The drama that happened on the days of prophet Jeremiah was very interesting. As the leading men of Judah were fighting against the truth, the king Zebekiah was shying away from it, and so, God inspired an ordinary Cushite Ebed-Melech to propagate the course of the truth and to enable it to triumph. So after the leading men of Judah as reported earlier had reported Jeremiah to the king, “Zedekiah answered, he is in your hands as you know, for the king is powerless against you. So they took Jeremiah in the court of the guard, letting him down with ropes. There was no water in the well, but only mud, and into the mud Jeremiah sank. Ebed-Melech came out from the place and spoke to the king. ‘My lord king, these men have done a wicked thing by treating the prophet Jeremiah like this: they have thrown him into the well where he will die’. At this the king gave Ebed-Melech, the Cushite the following order: ‘take three men with you from here and pull the prophet Jeremiah out of the well before he dies” (Jeremiah 38:5-6,8-10).