I’ve been drawn to the book of Jeremiah a lot lately and I must admit that it is incredibly HEAVY. I totally understand why Jeremiah is often referred to as the “weeping prophet”. He had to declare some very harsh truths to an unrepentant people. Not only did Jeremiah declare these truths to many nations he also had to specifically declare these truths to his own people (i.e. people of his nation, the Israelites). I can imagine that doing so made his job all the more perplexing. His own people more than likely hated him.
Reading the book of Jeremiah has made me reflect all the more on the costliness of disobedience to God. The people of Israel were rebellious and unrepentant. For years Jeremiah warned them of the destruction and punishment that would come as a result of their disobedience and they did not listen. They continued to claim that they were worshipping the true God, yet they simultaneously engaged in idol worship. And just as Jeremiah prophesied, the people experienced harsh consequences due to their rebellion and these consequences ultimately culminate with a 70-year exile to Babylon. Fortunately, Jeremiah also prophesies the hope that is to come for the people of Israel through God’s grace. God doesn’t just leave them to die in their sin. God promises to bring restoration and salvation and we know that he does just that through Christ Jesus.
Ok, so here’s my point:
Oftentimes we neglect reading OT Scripture because we fail to understand it’s relevancy. But there are certainly lessons to be learned in this particular Testament. And the truths found in OT Scripture are just as relevant and can be applied to our lives today. In reflecting on the book of Jeremiah, I invite you to think on this…
1. Do you view disobedience through a lens of indifference?
2. Do you know that obedience is just as important to God today as it was during Jeremiah’s time?
3. Have you prayed about areas where you are/have been disobedient to God? Do you understand the seriousness of this sinfulness? Have you repented? Do you sincerely want to pursue things that are pleasing to God?
4. Are you willing to forsake everything and everyone else to be obedient to God? Or do you easily succumb to the pressures from people and the world?
I don’t know how you may answer these questions, but I’ll be the first to tell you that I am not asking you anything that I am not asking myself. It is necessary that all who claim to be Christian, rightly and regularly examine themselves. I know that none of us can answer any of these questions perfectly. And thankfully there is hope for our imperfections. God has not abandoned us to our sin. There is hope in Jesus Christ. Not only is his power capable of saving us from sin, but it is capable of sanctifying us to grow in godliness. Tonight, before you drift off to sleep, take a moment to pray. Repent. Resolve to turn away from things that are displeasing to God. If you know that he is calling you to a specific area of obedience, then acknowledge that and sincerely ask for grace to walk in obedience. Don’t delay another day.
Grace and peace,