“Do not be afraid of being servants to the Chaldeans. Live in the land and serve the king of Babylon, and it will go well with you.”
~2 Kings, 25:24
These words were spoken by Gedaliah, the newly appointed governor of Judah, soon after Jerusalem was destroyed by Babylon (2 Ki. 25:22).
Gedaliah was accepting Jehovah’s will for the people of Judah.
The nation as a whole had sinned time and again for hundreds of years, showing no respect toward the covenant into which their forefathers had entered into with God (Ex. 24:3-8; 34:6,7,12-16).
Jehovah had sent his people prophet after prophet to warn them of the direction in which they were headed (2 Chron. 36:15,16).
Among these prophets was Jeremiah, who told the remnants of Judah to accept God’s punishment and submit to the king of Babylon (Jer. 27:12).
Some of the people did not like the message, including a man by the name of Ishmael.
Ishmael conspired against Gedaliah and murdered him (2 Ki. 25:25).
As true Christians who preach Christ’s kingdom, we too carry an unpopular message.
Some Christians in the past have given their life for the message they proclaimed, and even today, some Jehovah’s Witnesses risk their lives to take the good news into new cultures.
For example, some of the brothers and sisters whom we had the privilege of serving with in Michoacán, Mexico, were tasked with preaching the good news in Purepecha Villages where the Catholic church would summon all the townspeople, much like a mob forms, and the Witnesses would be incarcerated.
Others, as can be noted in some of our Yearbooks, have lost their lives.
The risks God’s servants are willing to take to proclaim God’s message are worth noting.