Monday, October 22, 2012

My Thoughts on Jeremiah 44 #OneYearBible


Jeremiah 44 is pretty interesting. 

We actually had to do Jeremiah in High School CRE (Religious Ed. but right now, I don't get it at all, it's taken me skipping through 44 chapters to finally see what's going on...apparently that A I got on my exam was a miracle, haha!)

God tells the Israelites, “Do not do this detestable thing that I hate” but they did not listen or pay attention and turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods. So the anger of the Lord is poured out and the nation is left desolate. (Jeremiah 44:4-6)

God says again, “Why provoke me to anger with what your hands have made. You will destroy yourselves and make yourselves an object of cursing and reproach among the nations of the world. Haven't you learnt from the past? Didn't you see this happen before with your forefathers and kings and queens who came before you?” and he adds, that because they've absolutely refused to recognize Him, punishment is coming their way. (Jeremiah 44:8-10)

The nation of Judah, or rather the remnant of the nation of Judah says: “We will certainly do what we said we will do” no, not obey God, they said, “we will burn incense to the queen of heaven, we will pour out incense and drunk offerings to her just as we and our fathers, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. At that time, we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm, but ever since we stopped burning incense and pouring drunk sacrifices we've had nothing and have been perishing by sword and famine” (Jeremiah 44:15-19)


Hello, God said He would punish you with sword and famine, so the only reason you stopped burning incense is because you were dealing with the repercussions of burning incense in the first place! It wasn't your choice!

Moreover, if the queen of heaven was a viable/real god, wouldn't she have saved you from the famine and sword so you could keep devoting yourselves to her? Why do you want to worship a god who wasn't there for you, who apparently only seeks to be appeased without giving anything – not love and not protection in return?

Whereas, you have an offer from:
  • A God, who is obviously strong enough and true enough to His word to destroy you just as He said He would,
  • A God who has kept pursuing you even as you constantly reject Him,
  • A God who tried to correct you and who like a loving parent, felt grieved at you forcing His hand into that correction (Jeremiah 42:10).
  • As in a God who has more good in store for you than you could imagine!
  • A God who when your fathers obeyed in the past, He prospered them and gave them more than they could imagine,
  • A God who’s promised to restore them, despite everything, if they'd only listen to Him and stop burning incense to this other thing.

Jeremiah’s trying to make them see sense and He’s like, “Guys! Don't you get it?! Don’t you see it?! The only reason you're living in this disaster is because you're ignoring the one true God!”

It’s absolutely easy to read this and think, man, why were they so blind?! The truth is though, how many times have I said those exact words? Do any of these sound familiar in your own life? Yup, I'm guilty.

  • “There’s no way I can get saved right now, I'm too young and I still have tons of partying to do! I’ll get saved when I'm married/I'm a parent.”
  • “There’s no way I can become a Christian, I'm in love of this person, if we don't sleep together we'll break up, I can't break up with them, they're ‘the one’!”
  • “There’s no way I can serve in Church, then I’ll be on the spotlight and my behavior outside of Church has to match my behavior inside Church!”
  • “There’s no way I can quit watching porn/reading those novels/watching those steamy scenes, they make me feel better and they give me ideas, shouldn't I be well educated in all areas of life.”
  • “Life was so much easier when I wasn't saved; I had about 100 people I could date following me, now I have to wait for ‘God’s plan’”
  • “My parents just don't get it, fine; they made their mistakes, why should I learn from them? Shouldn't I make my own mistakes to learn from?!”

I could go on and on.

I love how the issues we face aren't anything new, putting other things before God started thousands of years ago and we have the Bible to learn from. I’m absolutely sure that a lot of the time we're blinded by our situations. I look back on some things I did, I'm like, “WHAT WAS I THINKING?” Yet at the time, they seemed like the best idea to me. Now I'm just thankful and constantly think, “Wow God please forgive me and thanks for getting me out of that – alive!” Ha!

I’m so fearful of becoming ‘blind’ again, life then and life now – incomparable! In a good way…a great way.
Really, I think my prayer/our prayer should be, “Lord open my eyes so I can see things like you do. I have ‘queens of heaven’ in my life that I may not see as such, but in your eyes, they are. You are my God, my only God and you're the only one who loves me as God. Help my heart remain sensitive to your word alone God.”

With that knowledge comes this privilege and responsibility, that

  1. The Lord knows those who are His - {awesome! That a) He knows me and b) He calls me “HIS”, ahhh, the 'romantic' girl in me is swooning! Ha! }
  2. Those who confess the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness (2 Timothy 2:19)

xx
Jo

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