Jeremiah 9:3-16 – They Don’t Know God

Read Jeremiah 9:3-16

black and white image of a man covering his eyes, set against black background

God is illustrating how far his precious children have fallen. The people he describes don’t sound like they would be folks I’d want to hang around with. Who wants to be slandered or taken advantage of? What’s their excuse? “‘They do not know me,’ says the LORD.”

There are plenty of people walking around this planet that don’t know God. There are even people attending church every Sunday who are clueless about God and his character, much less his desire for their life. It’s tragic. Is there something we can do? Our churches should be safe places where we can worship God, hear the Word, and share fellowship with other believers.

Jeremiah tried to preach them through it, encouraging the people to repent and stop ignoring God. Whether it helped or not, God’s fury still destroyed Jerusalem like he said he would. The key to focus on is that Jeremiah was doing exactly what God wanted him to do.

How do we make sure that we’re not just fooling ourselves? How do we get to “know” God so that we can behave in ways that honor him? Even Jeremiah was wrestling with similar questions. “Who is wise enough to understand all this? Who has been instructed by the Lord and can explain it to others?” I have to admit that I feel weak and unprepared, not sure that I am wise enough.

What does Scripture say about knowing God? When we go back to the basics in Genesis, the first couple, Adam and Eve, had an intimate relationship with God. Can you imagine being the first to ever see creation? The majesty and beauty of all that exists speaks loudly about the God we want to know.

We’re not the first to wrestle with the notion of knowing God. David pondered this and looked to the heavens. Psalm 19 begins “The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.”

We can also listen for God’s voice and direction. The best source for hearing from God is his word, the Bible. Continuing in Psalm 19, verse 7 says, “The instructions of the Lord are perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.” It’s hard to describe the thrill I feel when God reveals himself through the words of Scripture. Can you relate?

Getting to know God is like getting to know anyone. What do we do when we’re meeting a new friend for the first time? We spend time together. We open up and share our lives, our thoughts, our resources. We can do that with God, too. Each moment we spend in prayer talking and listening brings us closer.

Yet there is still a lurking problem that can derail us like it did Jeremiah’s audience. That problem is sin. What was David’s answer to this challenge? He shows us in Psalm 19:12-13. He asks God for help. “How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.”

Jeremiah’s contemporaries “stubbornly followed their own desires and worshiped the images of Baal, as their ancestors taught them.” They were caught deep in their sin. Their sinfulness separated them from God.

Don’t be content being one of the “clueless Christians” taking up room on the church pew. Instead, ask God to stir up the desire to grow closer to Jesus so you can be in tune with his heartbeat and desire for your life.

praying hands looking up

Let’s pray … Lord, forgive me for rushing through my time with you. There is nothing more important, more precious, more crucial to my survival than you. Thank you that I can reach out and connect with you in the words of Scripture. Enlighten me and bring me a fresh understanding of your word and how you want me to shine for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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