Read Jeremiah 14:13-16
13 I said,”But Master,God! Their preachers have been telling them that everything is going to be all right-no war and no famine-that there’s nothing to worry about.”
14 Then God said,”These preachers are liars,and they use my name to cover their lies. I never sent them,I never commanded them,and I don’t talk with them. The sermons they’ve been handing out are sheer illusion,tissues of lies,whistlings in the dark.
15-16 “So this is my verdict on them: All the preachers who preach using my name as their text,preachers I never sent in the first place,preachers who say,’War and famine will never come here’-these preachers will die in war and by starvation. And the people to whom they’ve been preaching will end up as corpses,victims of war and starvation,thrown out in the streets of Jerusalem unburied-no funerals for them or their wives or their children! I’ll make sure they get the full brunt of all their evil. (THE MESSAGE)
In the old days in America,a circus would come to town and announce its presence with the procession of a bandwagon. This was a decorative wagon on which the band played and on which the stars of the circus paraded themselves. Ever since,the phrase ‘got on the bandwagon’ has been used to describe those who eagerly join popular causes,who desire popular acclaim.
Followers of Jesus need to be wary of bandwagons. True,not all popular causes are wrong: Christians can truly join in some popular campaigns to remedy injustice or advance the rights of the marginalised. But there are other times when we need to refuse to hop onboard.
Jeremiah is one such individual. The false prophets of his time were telling the authorities what they wanted to hear. That kept them out of trouble and got them favour. Who,after all,is going to attack those who bring good news? But their ‘good news’ was illusion. They were telling lies. Jeremiah’s truth was much more uncomfortable,hence his rejection and persecution.
Refusing to jump on any and every bandwagon is not to say we are to be miserable and morbid opponents. Some bandwagons are worth clambering aboard. But others present dangers. There are times when our society will genuinely applaud our stance on some issues. There are times when it will turn on us. In the end,we don’t aim at popularity or unpopularity. We aim at advancing the cause of Jesus.