69. To manipulate
The difficulty for people in authority who are afraid of losing their place, mostly their ideal, is to manipulate their surroundings. They will find the means to be the “ones”. To remain at the top, they will provoke and bring down the person who seems to contradict them. This is happening with Jesus and also with Jeremiah. God asks Jeremiah to speak on his behalf to the crowd:
They have forsaken me and alienated this place by burning in it incense to strange gods which neither they nor their fathers knew; and the kings of Judah have filled this place with the blood of the innocent. Jeremiah, chapter 19, verse 4
After Jeremiah describes the people’s attitude, he hears the murmur that threatens him:
“‘Terror on every side! Denounce! let us denounce him!’ All those who were my friends are on the watch for any misstep of mine. ‘Perhaps he will be trapped; then we can prevail, and take our vengeance on him.’” Jeremiah, chapter 20, verse 10
Jeremiah understands and feels that his remarks shock people. They are not listening. They do not seek to understand the urgency included in his message. Jeremiah listens to the Lord and does everything to help the people, but they do not listen to the Lord. They are withdrawing from God.
These people have lost their judgment because they try to subject God to their ideas. They lack charity toward Jeremiah. They are not at peace and they think they are right to be that way. They want to trap him who seems to be disturbing.
The new American Bible, 2011-2014
Book: Refusing sin, Normand Thomas