Did today’s reading make you a little uneasy? It did me. God’s fury against his people is raging, and yet the people don’t seem to get it. While they plead in verse 2 for God’s help, redemption and forgiveness are not in the cards for them just yet.
So much evil surrounds the people and they seem to thrive on it. It seems as if God isn’t going to rush to rescue this time. They must wallow in the consequences of their bad choices.
Again, it’s easy for us to read this with a sort of nonchalance thinking their sin is so much worse than ours. Don’t fall into that trap. All sin separates us from God. As far as I know, there is not a hierarchy of sins in God’s eyes. Sin is our downfall, that which keeps us apart from God’s perfect will for us.
Verse 12 struck a chord with me. “Even though I gave them all my laws, they act as if those laws don’t apply to them.” It saddens me to realize we do that same thing. We, as a society at least. Over the years, in one Bible study or another, I have encountered people that want to pick and choose what parts of the Bible “apply” to them. Have you experienced that? Maybe you’ve done it, too.
If we want to act in a certain way, and yet the Bible (God) says no, the tendency is to disregard Scripture. That would be one way of reconciling ourselves to God, just ignore the parts of his Word that we struggle with. No! Absolutely not! No! We, then, are no better than these Israelites who were challenging God at every turn.
The words of Scripture are alive yesterday, today, and for all time. We have no right to make our own rules to fit our own circumstances. We must fit our lives into the framework God has designed for us. Only then will we achieve true freedom and communion with God.
Why, then, do we struggle? Why do we question God? Think about a time in your life when you wrestled with God and his plan for your life. How did that turn out?
Let’s pray. Lord, you are the ruler of my life. Forgive me when I try to take control. Forgive me when I question your intentions. Thank you for the protection you provide and the unconditional love you give, even when I stumble. I don’t want to be like the stubborn Israelites who insisted on their own way. I know you way for me is so much better. Give me the patience to wait for you to move. I praise your name for it is great. I am humbled that I am your child. In Jesus’ name. Amen.