Jeremiah 12:6 ESV For even your brothers and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; they are in full cry after you; do not believe them, though they speak friendly words to you.”
We know that the enemy of our souls and his infernal ambassadors are filled with all deceit, malice, and treachery. It is therefore not surprising that those who are his instruments in this world utilize the same tactics. They “speak friendly words” to us. We must be wise and not be taken in by them.
Here, the Lord reminds Jeremiah that betrayal was at hand even within Jeremiah’s own family. His brothers and others in his family of origin were seeking his destruction. This is a hard lesson, and Jeremiah reminds us of it often, just as the Lord had reminded him:
Jeremiah 9:4 ESV Let everyone beware of his neighbor, and put no trust in any brother, for every brother is a deceiver, and every neighbor goes about as a slanderer.
Jeremiah 11:19 ESV But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter. I did not know it was against me they devised schemes, saying, “Let us destroy the tree with its fruit, let us cut him off from the land of the living, that his name be remembered no more.”
Jeremiah 20:10 ESV For I hear many whispering. Terror is on every side! “Denounce him! Let us denounce him!” say all my close friends, watching for my fall. “Perhaps he will be deceived; then we can overcome him and take our revenge on him.”
If we are going to follow Christ, believe in Him, obey Him, love and serve Him, then our experience is going to be like that of Jeremiah. And following Christ includes being wise about evil and about evildoers. Not being taken in by their deceiving, friendly words. It was the same in the Apostle Paul’s day, and it is the same in ours:
Galatians 4:17 ESV They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them.
When your close “friends” and even your mother or father or brother or sister choose to ally with your abuser and oppressor, take heart in knowing that you are not alone. That following Christ often means walking alone with only Him to walk with us. But then, He is enough.