This message for all the people of Judah came to Jeremiah from the Lord during the fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign over Judah. This was the year when King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon began his reign.
Jeremiah the prophet said to all the people in Judah and Jerusalem, “For the past twenty-three years—from the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah son of Amon, king of Judah, until now—the Lord has been giving me his messages. I have faithfully passed them on to you, but you have not listened.
“Again and again the Lord has sent you his servants, the prophets, but you have not listened or even paid attention. Each time the message was this: ‘Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing. Only then will I let you live in this land that the Lord gave to you and your ancestors forever. Do not provoke my anger by worshiping idols you made with your own hands. Then I will not harm you.’
“But you would not listen to me,” says the Lord. “You made me furious by worshiping idols you made with your own hands, bringing on yourselves all the disasters you now suffer. And now the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Because you have not listened to me, I will gather together all the armies of the north under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, whom I have appointed as my deputy. I will bring them all against this land and its people and against the surrounding nations. I will completely destroy you and make you an object of horror and contempt and a ruin forever.”
Imagine preaching the same message for twenty-three years and continually being rejected! Jeremiah faced this, but because he had committed his life to God, he continued to proclaim the message—“Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing” (Jeremiah 25:5). Regardless of the people’s response, Jeremiah did not give up. No matter how people respond when you tell them about God, remain faithful to God’s high call and continue to witness for him.
God never stops loving us, even when we reject him. We can thank God that he won’t give up on us, and, like Jeremiah, we can commit ourselves to never forsaking him.