It’s Halloween, so I thought I’d share a scary story. It’s not of witches and jack o’ lantern’s. It’s not of ghouls and ghosts. It’s not how insurance rates are going up by double digit percentages next year. And that’s pretty scary!
This scary story is of judgment.
There’s a lot of frightening things in this world, but one of the worst is when you’re judged by the fault in your very words and actions.
Jeremiah was a prophet called to preach a harsh word to God’s people because of their sin. They wouldn’t listen. They didn’t care. There were even other so called prophets and priests preaching the exact opposite of what Jeremiah preached. Pashur was one of them.
Pashur arrested Jeremiah, beat him, and put him on display in stocks. Jeremiah didn’t back down, but amped his message. He said to Pashur, in Jeremiah 20:3,4 – “The LORD’s name for you is not Pashur, but Terror on Every Side. For this is what the LORD says: ‘I will make you a terror to yourself and to all your friends.'”
This sounds like one of those “win” moments for Jeremiah. After his beating and humiliation, he stood up and boldly proclaimed judgment against his accuser.
Cue “We Are The Champions” by Queen. Cue the explosion and the slo mo walk off from Jeremiah.
But it didn’t happen that way. Jeremiah was actually laughed at and ridiculed more. Instead of people calling Jeremiah a hero and comeback champion, people actually started calling him, “Terror on Every Side.”
But the scary part eventually happened just as Jeremiah prophesied. Pashur and the people were judged. Pashur’s harsh words and treatment of God’s servant warranted him a first class ticket to a beatdown, poverty, exile, and death.
Jeremiah may have been called a few names, but Pashur received much much worse – actual judgment from an All-Powerful, Sovereign God.
You can call me names.
You can spread malicious lies about me. You can beat me and put me in stocks (you don’t have to but you can).
But the true Terror and Horror will one day come in the form of judgment from what we do and say – if those things are against God and His Word.
Jeremiah stayed true to the words of God and God was with him like a mighty warrior (Jeremiah 20:11). Pashur was reckless and careless with his words and actions and became the Terror.