We get a glimpse of God’s plan for the exiles in this letter. This reminds us how closely involved Jeremiah was to the events happening in this moment in history. He wasn’t one of those exiled to Babylon. He was in Jerusalem, presumably expecting (and fearing) all the atrocities he was preaching about. How would that make you feel?
Knowing he was giving the people in exile some hope and direction with this communication had to be fulfilling. It’s exhilarating anytime we’re used by God! When is the last time you were used by God for some purpose?
You are witnessing a milestone for this devotional blog! This is the 1,800th post! I chose this Bible passage especially for this occasion. The children at church sang a song about the armor of God yesterday–complete with battle gear made out of something indestructible that looked much like brown construction paper. The visual was incredible, but watching their innocent faces as they shared this timely message is what brought tears to my eyes. I knew this was the message God wanted me to share with you today.
We find ourselves living in challenging times. While true today, this statement could be said by many, if not all, past generations as well. Have no fear, God has set us up for success! Keeping our focus on God is the first step. Next, we have the “armor” Paul talks about here to give us all the security and hope we need. Let’s take a look at what we have access to.
Have you ever lived through a drought? The situation can be quite dire for farmers who rely on the earth to produce an income. As an Iowa girl for many years, I witnessed firsthand how farmers waited with guarded anticipation each season, especially the dry ones. I’m sure there were lots of prayers for rain being prayed.
Judah’s drought sounds to be extremely severe. Running out of water is a concern even now for some areas of the world. Rivers are at all time lows, fires are burning out of control, and people find themselves rationing water. Living in an arid climate here in Mexico, we’re extra careful with our own water consumption and love rainy season (the season we are in as I write this). It’s literally pouring outside as I reflect about dry and parched lands! (I think that’s a “God wink” for me today!)
Wasn’t the tone of Paul’s close to Chapter 15 simply invigorating? Even though Paul did a brilliant job explaining the promise of resurrection, it’s still something no one has done, except Jesus. He has led the way and we simply wait our turn. We wait for our glorious transformation.
Whether we have already died or are still alive when Jesus returns, we will still rise with Jesus and receive the full transformation. As Paul said, “let me reveal to you a wonderful secret.” Who doesn’t like to be in on a great secret? I can remember how hard it was to keep the secret I had arranged for a surprise 50th birthday party for my husband David. It was quite the elaborate event with lots of moving parts to make it work. Nothing near the incredible, miraculous secret Paul talked about for those who will skip past death.
Have you ever thought about what your resurrection body will look like? I have, but I can’t even begin to imagine. I like how Paul describes it. The example of a seed planted in the ground is a genius analogy. But what really got me was “Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have.” God’s creation is so amazing to witness a simple seed turning into a magnificent flowering bush. Exactly what God intended!
I think my resurrection body is going to be like that. It’s going to look exactly how God wants me to look. And my new body won’t have aches and pains or ever grow old and die. I remember thinking about this text when my mom died years ago. Her earthly body had been ravaged by the lingering effects of having polio as a child and then by cancer before she died. I knew she was in for a treat when she received her resurrection body! We all have that to look forward to.