The book of Jeremiah in the Old Testament was written in the years leading up to the fall of Jerusalem at the hands of the Babylonians. Throughout this book, God shows his people he desires relationship with them. Yet, the people refused to humble themselves in the Lord’s sight, get rid of their idols, and worship God alone.
God gave the people plenty of time, plenty of warnings, and plenty of opportunities to turn from their wicked ways, repent, and be restored. But they wouldn’t listen.
The people exchanged the glory of being in God’s presence for worthless idols made by their own hands. They abandoned the Lord and embraced idols. God pointed out to the people they were the ones who turned their backs on him, yet, in times of trouble, he was the one they cried out to.
At one point, God told the people to cry out to the idols they made if they were so great. Let them save you. Which, of course, the idols were impotent to do.
The destruction that fell on Jerusalem was the people’s own doing. God is a just God. Not a capricious god. His prophets warned the people over and over and over. The people’s stubborn hearts refused to listen. Their destruction was because of their own choices.
As the Babylonians tightened the net around Judah, the people asked Jeremiah to pray to his God on their behalf. It’s interesting they didn’t say pray to our God. They stated they would do whatever the Lord said. Jeremiah knew better.
Jeremiah told the people they weren’t being honest. They would do whatever they wanted to do, just like always. They didn’t obey before. They wouldn’t obey now.
Just as God was patient with the Israelites, he is patient with us. God desires relationship. He desires we repent and turn from the things we’ve placed before him. God’s goal is restoration. Us to him. Him to us.
God wants us to come to him as our God. Because of Christ Jesus’ sacrifice we can. Even though our sins are as scarlet, just like those of the Israelite’s, God desires relationship with us.
We may not think we are worshiping any idols like the Israelites did, but is there anything we think about more than we think about God? Do we filter his words through our will instead of God’s, and distort his words to suit ourselves?
If so, it’s possible we might have an idol in our heart that needs removed. Then we can have a new heart that connects us with God’s heart.
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For you were not being honest when you sent me to pray to the Lord your God for you. You said, ‘Just tell us what the Lord our God says, and we will do it!’ And today I have told you exactly what he said, but you will not obey the Lord your God any better now than you have in the past. Jeremiah 42:20-21 (NLT)
You can find my November Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.
I wish you well.
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