This month, I have been reading Jeremiah.
Most of the book has a straightforward message: Destruction is coming. And yet, there is an underlying hope: I (God) am warning about destruction, in hope that you might change your ways so that I can relent.
Although I have read Jeremiah numerous times before, this time I noticed a pattern that had not previously caught my attention.
Jeremiah wrote it to the exiles in Babylon (Jer 29:5-7). He said it to the people of Jerusalem before it was destroyed (Jer 21:9, Jer 27:12, Jer 38:2, and Jer 38:17). Gedaliah, the governor appointed by Nebuchadnezzar after the fall of Jerusalem, said it to the people who gathered at Mizpah (Jer 40:9). And Jeremiah said it to the people after Gedaliah was assassinated, before they fled to Egypt (Jer 42:10-11).
What was the message?
Submit to the government, regardless of how evil it may be, and you will live. Bless the government and you will prosper. Resisting, condemning or opposing to the government will lead to death and destruction.
A message for our times, as well.