Well, happy Lord’s Day to you. Sunday is my favorite day of the week. I get up about 5:15AM and study, pray, preach, fellowship, meet, write, prepare, and discuss until about 8:30 or 9PM in the evening. I may be physically worn out at the end of it all, but I’m spiritually energized! I hope your Lord’s Day goes great!
Today’s reading from Jeremiah is about the opposition and frustration that Jeremiah, not to speak of God Himself, felt at Israel’s stubbornness and deafness. Let’s dive in.
“Like a scarecrow in a cucumber field are they, and they cannot speak; they must be carried, because they cannot walk! Do not fear them, for they can do no harm, nor can they do any good.” Jeremiah 10:8 — What a great picture and metaphor! Pagans are scared of scarecrows! Empty clothes, an empty wooden carving, a lump of clay, a lump of metal! So helpless that it has to be carried around. It can’t do us any good or do us any harm. It’s part of the creation, not the Creator. It can’t manipulate the spirits or the gods. So why do men make them; worship them; and rely on them?
“I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself. Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps.” Jeremiah 10:23 — This is sometimes referred to as the “Illumination that leads to righteousness”, and I thing that it’s a pretty apt description. It is not our wit or learning or insightfulness that lead to righteousness; it is God. Yes, there are philosophers that have led men far down the road toward knowing God better, but they always fall short in both righteousness and in proper motivation. Listen to God; marinated your heart and spirit in His wisdom, grace, and example.
“Therefore, do not pray for this people, nor lift up a cry or prayer for them; for I will not listen when they call to Me because of their disaster.” Jeremiah 11:14 — What? Don’t bother praying them? Is it possible that God would say such a thing? As horrific as the thought may be, we need to realize that God’s patience — although it is very, very long — is not infinite. We can, and some do, reach a point where there’s nothing that can be done: For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. (Hebrews 10:26, 27, NAS95). May none of us ever reach that threshold.
“If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace How will you do in the thicket of the Jordan?” Jeremiah 12:5 — It was certainly not what Jeremiah wanted to hear, but it was true; God is telling poor ol’ Jeremiah that if he thinks that things are bad now, just wait. I wonder if Jeremiah every considered that running with the footmen was training for running with the horses? Have you?
See you tomorrow, Lord willing.