The Burden of Awful Events
The word of Yahweh to Jeremiah is altogether ominous: you will speak, and no one will hearken. Inhibited from birth they are, stalled in a false tradition, morally deaf, dumb, and blind. Insist as you will on a summons from Yahweh to works of justice and compassion; persevere, intercede, and risk all—the response will be indifference, even hatred.
Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, and the other great ones press on through a trackless thicket of adverse will. Nothing, or very little, changes. And, despite all, they are never won over to the world’s ways, never—short of death—put to silence.
For all their moral greatness, we shall not make of the prophets a species of moral superhumans. True, awful events daunt, discourage, and dishearten. Terrible misfortune and loss befall Jeremiah, Hosea, Daniel, and Isaiah. Suffering is the price exacted of them in their quest for a fuller and deeper humanity—for others, but for themselves first of all. This realization lurks there, between the lines. The great ones admit to it. And someone, against all the odds of Yahweh’s prediction to the contrary, nonetheless hearkens to the word and records it. We are left with that record and with its implication for ourselves: What price the human?
They give us one price: to perish, and to have the record of your life and death set down by another. This at best. At worst, to have no