“Then rose up certain of the elders of the land, and spake to all the assembly of the people, saying,”
Not long ago, I was preaching at a conference with my pastor. While the pastor of the church was introducing all the pastors who attended the conference, something hit me in the heart that totally shocked my spiritual being. Other than one other pastor who introduced himself, my pastor and I were the two oldest preachers in the conference. For the first time in my life, I was the old guy sitting on the platform. The sad part about this is that I was only forty-eight years of age.
As I began to muse about this situation, my thoughts began to question as to where were all the men older than my pastor and me. We were not really old men. Actually, we were men who were just in our middle age, yet we became the old men of the conference.
The verse above reminds me of this situation as the elders rose up to speak in defense of Jeremiah. My question for these elders is; where was your voice in all the years that Judah sinned? What happened was that these elders received from the preceding leaders of their time the truths of God’s Word, but they were silent all the years that Judah sinned. Instead of making a stand when Judah first started straying, these elders chose to be silent in spite of the straying ways that the people took. These elders should have been a voice to the people long before they became old men. These elders should have passed to the next generation what was handed to them long before Jeremiah became a hated voice to these young people. The only reason these young people hated Jeremiah’s message was because they had not heard this type of preaching from the mouths of the elders.
My friend, this story should be a lesson to every person. No matter what your age may be, it is time to stand up and let the old paths of God’s Word be heard. All it takes for a generation not to know the old paths is for the present day preacher to stay silent when compromise is proposed. It should never be said about you that you are silent when you see error happening in your church or society. The one thing you have to keep decay from happening to the old paths is your voice. Always remember that silence is just as wrong as compromised actions. Silence is no different from concession.
My friend, your voice is as needed today as it is ever needed. You need to realize that running from a battle through appeasing the crowd is only hurting the future generations mindset towards right and wrong. Your responsibility is to let your voice be heard when you know wrong is being committed. Yes, it takes courage; and yes, you may have to pay a dear price for your stand; however, your stand for truth is the one thing that could stop bad decisions from being made if you will just let your voice be heard when you see compromising actions and decisions being made.
Let me ask you; are you as guilty as these elders for allowing compromise to happen in your presence without saying or doing anything? The greatest need for every generation is for voices to speak out when wrong is about to happen. The next generation needs to hear your voice, and without your voice they just may make the wrong decisions that will lead to compromise. Don’t wait until you are old to be the elder’s voice. Be the voice of righteousness now so that the next generation knows the truth of the old paths.