The Folly of Insolent Men

[originally posted by glennblackley on 14 November 2015]

Insolent – showing a rude and arrogant lack of respect

Todays reading comes from Jeremiah 43.

It would not be a pleasant thing to be told to your face that you are a liar by a hostile audience, but that is the reaction Jeremiah receives in response to the message that he delivers from the Lord (refer back to Jeremiah 42).

It was a message that the prominent leaders Azariah and Johanan and “all the insolent men” did not want to hear. The accusations fly.

As a servant of God, Jeremiah wasn’t the first to receive such treatment and he won’t be the last. David is another who also faced the oppression of the insolent (refer Psalm 54:3 and Psalm 86:15).

In this instance, the insolent men win the day and in verse 4 we are told:

So Johanan son of Kareah and all the army officers and all the people disobeyed the Lord’s command to stay in the land of Judah.

This is a tragic verse – the descendants of Isaac and Jacob choose to return to Egypt as a defeated, hopeless remnant nearly 900 years after their liberation from it and poor Jeremiah and Baruch are dragged along with them.

As KD posted yesterday – “obedience results in blessing; disobedience results in punishment.”

The punishment for this disobedience that they will receive is acted out when they arrive at Pharaoh’s palace in another of Jeremiah’s visual prophecies (v8-13). They won’t escape the might of Nebuchadnezzar’s armies there either – death, captivity, and destruction await.

While the temple of the sun in Egypt will be demolished (v13), in 1 Corinthians 3, Paul urges his readers to act maturely and lay aside their petty divisions in order to build up God’s temple.  Insolence/arrogance has no place in the church as Paul writes:

18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness”, 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.