I received a Daily Reading Bible for my 32nd birthday this year. I read the Bible, don’t necessarily fee like another Bible to sit on my shelf. But, I like this one. In 365 days, all of Scripture is presented in chronological order. I am a history nerd, always have been and always will be. I like things in order, and well, this is interesting to me.
The last couple of days, I have been reading Jeremiah. A couple of things jump out of me.
1. Jeremiah’s call — he is a young man and feels ill-equipped to do the work he is called too. I can’t tell you the times I have felt this way. The challenges are great, surely someone else could do this better? God’s response to Jeremiah, “I am with you in this.”Jeremiah’s ministry was unpopular. He is forecasting doom in an environment of prosperity and peace. People are attacking Jeremiah, and he begins to feel the strain of his call and voices his worries over and over again. God reminds Jeremiah of his task, and renews his strength.
2. Israel’s unfaithfulness –God is heart broken over Israel’s adultery. They have forsaken God, and judgment is coming upon them. Jeremiah’s message is unpopular. By the end of chapter 15 Jeremiah tells the people that God isn’t going to answer their prayers. Wow! But, here is a moment when we see God hurting for his people. He had watched them over and over again turn from him. Some were even brazen enough to think that just because they went to the temple of the Lord, that were saved! Location isn’t salvation. God is not pleased, and as a result punishment is coming. This breaks Jeremiah’s heart, and as a result of the message he is given, he is also required to give up alot to perform his duties. God’s call comes with a price.
After reading up to chapter17, things appear desperate. The nation has been unfaithful, and while judgment is coming. God doesn’t completely abandon his people. I got to thinking through all of this how much God loves us, his patience, and how incredibly undeserving we are. Israel’s problem is no different than ours –selfishness is at the root of their unfaithfulness. It is no different with us. While we live in the midst of an economic recession, we live for the most part in a time of prosperity and peace. We have been lured away from trusting in God completly to trusting in man for our well-being. I want to close with the words of Jer. 17:5-8:
5 This is what the LORD says:
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
6 He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.
7 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
8 He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.”