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Archive for the ‘Jeremiah’ Category

 

Jeremiah 5

 

Reading Jeremiah reminds me a little of listening to Glenn Beck. 

 

Jer. 5:12, 13 They have lied about the Lord; they said, ‘He will do nothing!  No harm will come to us; we will never see sword or famine.  The prophets are but wind and the word is not in them.’

 

Jer. 5:24, 25 They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God who gives us spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’  Your wrongdoings have kept these away; your sins have deprived you of good. 

 

Jer. 5:31 The prophets prophecy lies and my people love it this way.  But what will you do in the end?

 

I’m convinced the saddest part for God in His reaching the point that judgment becomes necessary, is His understanding of the good of which our sins have deprived us.  Even when we just fall a little short, we sometimes think God is just waiting to hammer us; nothing could be further from the truth.

 

Blatant disregard was the case here, not shortcomings.  Shortcomings will not bring God’s judgment, but they can keep us from His good.  As it takes blatant disregard to bring judgment, I believe it takes blatant (brazenly obvious) regard to experience the good He has planned for our lives.

 

There is a middle of the road limbo where we do neither.  We may not go wholly after our sinful cravings, but neither do we go wholly after God.  We neither enjoy the pleasures of sin nor God’s goodness.  It is a most unfortunate place to be.

 

God is not waiting to hammer us for our wrongs, He is longing for us to experience the good He has for us.  Help me oh Lord to not be distracted that I might go wholly after You, for only then will I experience the good You have planned for me. 

 

 

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Jeremiah 3, 4

 

How long will we break the heart of God?  We have forsaken Him and gone after our own interests.  Patiently He waits, longing for us to come to our senses and return to Him, but we do not.  If only we would, He would gladly hold off His judgments, He would gladly treat us as sons.

 

Call after call rings out in an attempt to save His people from the disaster that is about to befall them.  He knows how terrible it will be.  He hopes to not have to do it.  It is really in our hands.

 

There is no way I can conclude from reading the book of Jeremiah, that God has declared His intent to send judgment.  But due to the timeless nature of His word, there are some things I can conclude.  We have forsaken Him as His people in Jeremiah’s time had.  He hopes that we will return to Him and gives us opportunity to do so.  We mistake His patience for His approval and see no need of repenting.  Eventually His patience runs out.

 

Surely we are on the same path as His people from years ago.  Though there is no way to know where along the path we are, we can learn from it that though at some point His patience will run out, for now He is giving us time; time to consider our ways in light of His ways; time to take advantage of His mercy and His willingness to pardon.   

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The Longing of God

Jeremiah 2

 

Sad to read His words that came to Jeremiah; words that were now against those who once loved, followed and trusted Him. 

 

Jeremiah 2:2 ‘I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown.’

 

Jeremiah 2:5, 6 ‘What fault did your fathers find in me that they strayed so far from me?  They followed worthless idols…  They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord, who brought us up out of the land of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness, through a land of deserts and rifts, a land of drought and darkness, a land where no one travels and no one lives?’

 

Jeremiah 2:13 My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.’

 

Jeremiah 2:19, 20 Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of me.  You broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds; you said, ‘I will not serve You’.

 

Jeremiah 2:35 Yet in spite of all this you say, ‘I am innocent; He is not angry with me’.  But I will pass judgment on you.

 

Eventually His patience runs out, as it has here.  To all it is an opportunity to see the longing in the heart of God for His people to love Him.  It is both warning to those who do not and inspiration to those who do.

 

   

 

 

 

 

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Set Apart

Jeremiah 1:5

‘Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart,
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.’

One could read the first line and just stop there. Think about that. Before we were even formed, He knew us.

All are known before they were formed.
Some are set apart even before they are born.
Fewer still are appointed to a specific and unique task.

Though all may not be set apart, all are known and have the distinct privilege of knowing the one who knows us.

Some though, in this knowing, have the sense they are set apart.  Some who have this sense discover right away what they are set apart for.  Others like myself are not as sure.  It leads to speculation as we try to ‘figure it out’.  Like Walter Mitty, sometimes as we see the examples of others we wonder if it is an example of what our story will be.

Hebrews 11 is full of references to what chapter 12 labels as ‘a great cloud of witnesses’. Easy as we read of these and others to wonder if our story will end up similar to their story. But the key in it all is what was said of Moses; ‘he persevered because he saw Him who is invisible’.  They have stories to read because they saw Him who was invisible and as a result, discovered the race marked out for them.


Hebrews 12:1 ‘Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses… let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.’

 

That is the inspiration from the great cloud of witnesses.  As we focus on ‘Him who is invisible’, we will learn in His timing the race He has set for us – what we have been set apart for.  Moses had 40 years to wonder what he was set apart for, and in God’s timing, he found out.

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