Jeremiah’s ministry was focused on Judah, but it was helpful to show God’s intentions in our last reading regarding Israel. In this current passage, we see God’s message to Judah that they still had an opportunity to make things right. The message was clear, however, that it wouldn’t be pretty if they ignored God’s warning.
Did you have any trouble following the narrative today? Both God and Jeremiah are speaking. Of course, Jeremiah is speaking God’s message, so the people are hearing Jeremiah’s voice preaching and ministering to them. Jeremiah’s plea was to God on Judah’s behalf. A couple of the verses seem like they recount a vision Jeremiah may have had announcing the destruction.
How do you think Jeremiah was feeling in terms of being used by God? I can sense from his own urgings in this reading that he was feeling frustrated that his own people would be ignoring this message. God was giving them an “out” and they weren’t taking it. Why?
Have you ever been the messenger communicating an unpopular message? There’s a lot of pressure. I’m sensing such a job or calling could be where the phrase, “don’t shoot the messenger” came from. Yet, I don’t get the sense that Jeremiah’s own life is in danger. He would have surrendered any pride or power. He would likely be listening to God with an open, not hardened heart.
How about you or the people around you? Do you feel like you are open to God’s leading, or do you have your doubts? Are you ready to surrender your will to God’s will? That’s a big question, but when you think of it, it’s what the people of Judah were failing to do. They were not doing what God wanted for them. They were rebelling and pressing on, testing their boundaries.
We often do that, too, don’t we? We try to rationalize our behavior by downplaying the significance of “just one more bite” or “nobody will see me.” God knows. For me, all it takes is knowing that from God there are no secrets. He has made it clear in his word what he wants from us. If we can’t simply love and trust him, then we may have a similar fate as those Judah folks.
I don’t want to have to worry about my future. I love knowing I’m securely in God’s hands. Simply trust in God’s grace; the peace he gives is so worth it. Even in those storms of life, there is still peace. That’s what God intends for each of us, even those in Judah who were so rebellious.
Take some time to let God speak to you today. Are you ready to change your heart and give God your full allegiance, accepting his grace and peace?
Let’s pray … Lord, I want to grow closer to you and give you my life. Use me to help others know your peace. Forgive me when my heart is clouded with doubts or fears. Remind me to trust in you always. You are the great provider. In Jesus’ name. Amen.