Defaming the true saints of God has always been en vogue by the world. Whether that defamation comes in the form of bearing false witness against us, slander, or libel, wherever we turn these days, it is becoming more common and acceptable to knowingly lie and spread lies about God, the Bible, and his people. But thank God he has provided us with the testimonies of ancient saints who faced severe persecution for being on God’s side and used their experiences to expose how our enemies think and how we should respond.
Take the prophet Jeremiah, for example. What he experienced could have driven any normal person insane given the pressure he was under from his enemies. But he was supernaturally preserved and protected by the Lord. Here’s how he explained it:
10 For I heard the defaming of many, fear on every side. Report, say they, and we will report it. All my familiars watched for my halting, saying, Peradventure he will be enticed, and we shall prevail against him, and we shall take our revenge on him.
11 But the LORD is with me as a mighty terrible one: therefore my persecutors shall stumble, and they shall not prevail: they shall be greatly ashamed; for they shall not prosper: their everlasting confusion shall never be forgotten. Jeremiah 20
Defamation of Jeremiah was prevalent in his day as haters tried to make him afraid at every turn and also tried to make people afraid to take his side. They even encouraged people to spread falsehoods about him, promising they would help spread false reports for anyone who had a false report. While they did it, they stood by with anticipation hoping that Jeremiah would waver, capitulate, and be enticed by their demands so they could boast about being victorious over him. That would make it easy to exact their revenge on him for him having the audacity to share God’s unadulterated truth. Or so they thought.
Nevertheless, they forgot one huge factor in all of it. Jeremiah’s ministry was not carried out by his own human power. He prophesied by the grace, mercy, and love of God through the Holy Spirit. That meant God gave Jeremiah wisdom, knowledge, and understanding to navigate over, under, around, and through all of their wicked schemes. Jehovah was with him “as a mighty terrible one” whose power Jeremiah’s enemies could not overcome.
Instead of causing Jeremiah to stumble, they themselves stumbled in the midst of their own plots. Not only did they fail to prevail against him, they set themselves up to have their own shameful behavior exposed. Furthermore, they found out it was impossible for them to prosper against God’s truth in that there was no way for them to stop God’s truth from being spread. The gates of hell could not prevail. Their attempts to tear down God’s word and his prophet were like battering a wall made of impenetrable titanium and they ended up looking so confused that their confusion was unforgettable.
So it will always be with those who seek to destroy God’s saints whether they attack us from outside the church or within the church. Even the prophesied Antichrist in Revelation possessed by Satan and Satan’s power will not be able to stop God, his word, or his saints despite his ability to kill them. Therefore, like Jeremiah, we should be determined not to cave to our enemies’ fearmongering regardless of the circumstances.