Jeremiah 26:20-21 MSG (At another time there had been a man, Uriah son of Shemaiah from Kiriath-jearim, who had preached similarly in the name of GOD. He preached against this same city and country just as Jeremiah did. (21) When King Jehoiakim and his royal court heard his sermon, they determined to kill him. Uriah, afraid for his life, went into hiding in Egypt.
Jeremiah 26:24 MSG But in Jeremiah’s case, Ahikam son of Shaphan stepped forward and took his side, preventing the mob from lynching him.)
Last week we talked about the fearlessness of Jeremiah to not only stand and deliver a corrective Word to the people of Judah, but to do so knowing they had previously killed at least one prophet who had done so before. But Jeremiah fearlessly stood and did not flee because he knew God was with him and was fully convinced that the word he had spoken was directly from the Throne of God (Jer 1:8-9). Still it was the courageous (fearless) act of another that surely helped to reinforce his own confidence and encouraged him to fearlessly stand for what was right despite the threats, attacks, and apparently his near murder.
Ahikam, certainly lived up to his name which means brother of support or helper when he, stood up for justice in the case of Jeremiah. Ahikam was a respected official and his father had been a royal secretary for King Josiah, needless to say he had a little clout. But he seriously put all his political capital on the line when he stepped up before a mob of people including priests, some prophets, and a mass of people gathered in the temple all bent on killing Jeremiah. Ahikam stood up for justice, putting his own life on the line. I picture him stepping up in front of Jeremiah becoming a human shield and grabbing hold of him with one hand while waving the other and crying out to the court officials to put a stop to all the madness. Apparently they listened and Jeremiah was delivered from the mob, got to defend his statements before the court and was found to be innocent before their sight.
I can’t even imagine the pressure of the situation. An entire mob was bent on taking Jeremiah by force and killing him, yet Ahikam fearlessly stood up for justice and the pursuit of righteousness even if it meant the loss of his career or even his own life. This is the kind of Godly character we are all called to. I believe it was Ahikam’s character and moral code that inspired him to act according to the meaning of his name and support/help a brother who was defenseless. Developing a firm moral code and strong personal values that you simply will not compromise, will empower you to courageously act and take a fearless stand when you are pressured to violate or ignore them. Too many people have never taken the time to develop or define their own personal values and are left like reeds blowing in the wind. There are plenty of resources and information on the web to help you do so. I encourage you to take some time to look at a few so you can concretely define your specific personal values. They really do empower you to fearlessly stand up for yourself and others, and may encourage others like Jeremiah to continue to stand fearless too.