Dearly Beloved,
"Beware of your friends; do not trust your brothers. For every brother is a deceiver, and every friend a slanderer. Friend deceives friend, and no-one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie; they weary themselves with sinning" (Jeremiah 9:4-5 NIV).
The life of an average Jew in the time of Jeremiah was so deteriorated and corrupted that it was difficult to trust a fellow Jew. Each one was doing what seemed right in his eyes. The political leaders had abandoned the living God for worthless gods. Even the religious leaders were not trustworthy as they were misleading the people with false prophecies. Isaiah depicted this dishonest situation thus, "So justice is driven back, and righteousness stands at a distance; truth has stumbled in the streets, honesty cannot enter. Truth is nowhere to be found, and whoever shuns evil becomes a prey. The LORD looked and was displeased that there was no justice" (Isaiah 59:14-15 NIV). This situation made Jeremiah to warn the people to beware of their friends and not to trust any brother (Jeremiah 9:4-5).
Prophet Micah, who lived sometime before prophet Jeremiah, also had a similar warning. Hear him, "Do not trust a neighbour; put no confidence in a friend. Even with her who lies in your embrace be careful of your words. For a son dishonours his father, a daughter rises up against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law - a man's enemies are the members of his own household" (Micah 7:5-6 NIV).
Are these warnings relevant today to us as they were to the people of Judah? Have honesty, truth and righteousness not been relegated to oblivion? Can we trust our friends, neighbors, co-workers, siblings and even our spouses today? Can my friends, siblings, neighbors, co-workers, as well as my spouse trust me?
These are thought-provoking questions in our present-day society that have deteriorated morally with all sorts of atrocities in the name of civilization, rationalization and liberalization.
However, "there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 18:24 NIV). This Friend can be trusted at all time even when all others have disappointed you. The friend is Jesus Christ (see John 15:13-15). While you may find it difficult or cautious to trust a friend, put your total trust in Jesus Christ. You will never regret you did.
In His service,
Bayo Afolaranmi (Pastor).
This message was first sent out on August 14, 2005.

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