WHEN YOU SPEAK THE TRUTH IN A WORLD FULL OF LIES, REMEMBER…
- Expect opposition from the world
- Expect apathy from the world
- Expect deliverance from the Lord
Text: Jeremiah 38:1-13
Service Video (sermon starts at 26:00)
Why were so many mothers and infants dying? That’s the question that nineteenth century Hungarian doctor Ignaz Semmelweis wanted to know after he began work as a doctor in the maternity clinic at a hospital in Vienna. The disease commonly called “childbed fever” was taking the lives of far too many mothers and babies. Semmelweis began to study and rule out possible causes. He finally came to the conclusion—a conclusion that seems like a no-brainer to us today—that doctors needed to wash their hands and their medical instruments not just with soap but with a chorine solution. And when the doctors in the hospital did this, guess what happened with the mortality rate. It dropped significantly!
You would think that a discovery like this would have been openly received and adopted by the medical community. Think again. Some doctors felt that Semmelweis’s discovery suggested that doctors were responsible for causing these deaths. Semmelweis stood his ground, not always in a tactful way, and made a few enemies along the way. His advice was by and large ignored, and he was so frustrated at the response from the medical community across nineteenth century Europe that he was eventually committed to a mental asylum.
There are many examples through the centuries of people who proclaimed the truth only to be ignored by their contemporaries, while a later generation would come to realize the truth of their words. What was said about Semmelweis the doctor could also be said about Galileo the astronomer or Luther the theologian. You might be speaking the truth, but if the world is comfortable with the misinformation it has come to know, the truth won’t be well received.
Today’s First Lesson takes us to another similar situation where a truth-teller was not received kindly in a world full of lies. The truth-proclaimer in this case was the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah, and the message he proclaimed from God went over the land of Judah about as well as a lead balloon. But the lessons we can learn from this account are important as we strive to proclaim the truth in our twenty-first century world. As we focus on the First Lesson for today, God’s Word will remind us that when you speak the truth in a world full of lies, you need to remember to  expect rejection from the world,  expect apathy from the world, but  expect deliverance from the Lord. Read More…