Jeremiah 16:1-18 – Just Wait!

Read Jeremiah 16:1-18

stop light with red light illuminated

How good are you at waiting? I’m getting better myself. But I’ve been known to avoid stop lights at all costs, choosing to take alternate routes. It’s silly, I admit. Don’t get me started with grocery lines. I inevitably choose the wrong line. Shortest doesn’t always mean fastest!

Jeremiah is being told to not marry or have children “in this place.” It doesn’t say “ever”, so Jeremiah knows that that sort of relationship is going to have to wait. Jeremiah is already waiting for all of God’s messages to come true. All the destruction Jeremiah has been preaching about is about to come. How do you think it feels to be waiting for something like that?

God has some very specific do’s and don’ts this time in addition to the warning not to marry. No acts of consolation are allowed which will only emphasize their loss and dread of a new reality. These horrifying messages are getting specific now. The existence the LORD speaks of sounds like such a stark contrast to the way the people have been living. A “rude awakening” to be sure!

But just wait! God gives us a clue as to the “light at the end of the tunnel.” There is hope to cling to. It was quite an abrupt transition in our reading, but it sure lifted my mood. Do you let your emotions be impacted by readings such as this?

It’s nice to have both judgment and the promise of a grand homecoming in the same reading! But we shouldn’t let the happy ending nullify the pain, the shame, or the grief that the people have yet to experience. Knowing that God provides a way out for his people can speak to us, especially if we’re walking through a challenging time.

The message of hope flickered in and out in this reading. For us, hope is something we can glean from the Lord every day. God knows that we all struggle with finding and holding onto hope. When facing tests of faith, even the strongest Christians can find it a challenge to find hope.

Let Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 1:18 speak to your heart today. “I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.” You are one of God’s holy people! Hallelujah! Now it’s time to wait patiently for the Lord. He’s going to return for us! Are you ready?

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray … Lord, forgive me for my impatience. I know in my heart and head that you are working so I can live my best life. That life is with you, full of joy, hope, and love. Having you in my life makes all that possible despite the circumstances that keep me feeling stuck. Refresh and renew my spirit today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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