Were you surprised by the second chance God offers here (or maybe the umpteenth chance) to repent. It’s almost as if God is in denial because he does the same thing over and over expecting different results. Hoping for different results. God doesn’t want to give up on the possibility that his people will repent and do the right thing.
That’s a beautiful thing when you think of it. But like any loving parent, God often overlooks behaviors because of the intensity of his love. Do you think God still looks the other way, or is he still hoping we’ll do the right thing.
Jeremiah’s message from God in this reading continues to give clues for what is about to happen. It seems there are several dialogues going on. Likewise, there are multiple messages, one of which might be exactly what you need to hear today.
Let’s start with God’s command in verse 16, “Stop right where you are!” If this was God speaking to you, what would he see in your behavior? Are you walking in God’s ways or cutting your own road into new territory? Why do we always try to “recreate the wheel?” Why don’t we trust God more?
What’s horrible and shocking? Is it what is going to happen to God’s people or what they’ve done to bring God to this place of fury? The latter according to our text when God calls it out in verses 30 and 31. Even the prophets and priests have turned blindly away.
The warnings to Judah in this reading are clear and specific. The people were so disillusioned by the messages of the world they had forgotten the majesty of God. Even today, many people need a wake-up call to remind them of how great our God is. I loved this line from our text. “Let us live in awe of the LORD our God.” That was the mindset the LORD wanted from them and us!
Think of a time when you finally received a good word after spending hours (maybe even days) on pins and needles because of an unfolding catastrophe. And then it happened. A resolution. A light seen at the end of the tunnel. Remember that sense of being free to breathe, like a weight had just been removed from your chest?
Do you think that’s what Hezekiah may be feeling when he finally hears from Isaiah? We know Hezekiah’s heart has been extremely troubled, feeling torn into different directions. Sometimes we have a pull on our own loyalties. What happens if your loved one doesn’t believe in Jesus like you do?
The desperation of a widow, I can only imagine how it feels. Not only is she missing her husband, but she also no longer has his income to pay the bills. We have probably all known someone close to us who has become a widow. While women today tend to be self-sufficient and able to earn an income, we need to remember it wasn’t always that way.
In her grief, she turned to Elisha. It appears her husband had served with Elisha so his death would not have necessarily gone unnoticed. Elisha was quick to give her a solution from God. Elisha must have felt honored to have been used by God to help this widow and her sons.