I've been reading through the Book of Jeremiah, one of the "Major Prophets" in the Bible. It has a distinct flavor profile: Smokey exhortations with notes of lament, loss, and restoration.
Jeremiah's words are like the other prophets. He offers strong rebukes. Calls us to repentance. Exhorts us to return to God before it's too late.
We have the benefit of Christ's complete redemption. Still, there's so much we can learn from Jeremiah. I try to approach all the Bible by asking God to teach me...even in those hard parts. The Tanakh (Old Testament) makes up roughly three-fourths of the whole Bible. There's so much we can learn about God's character, His kingdom, and His people in the Prophets.
So, in the coming weeks, I wanted to offer you some sauce-samplings from Jeremiah.
The Sarcasm...of God?
Now, God addresses the lesser gods they have turned to for so long. As you read, note God's pointed sarcasm...
They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’ and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ They have turned their backs to me and not their faces; yet when they are in trouble, they say, ‘Come and save us!’
Where then are the gods you made for yourselves? Let them come if they can save you when you are in trouble! For you, Judah, have as many gods as you have towns.
Jeremiah 2:27-28 (NIV)
Who said the Bible is boring, right!? ?
It may sound off-putting that God is using sarcastic rhetoric to call out His people. But, His words match how far they had sunk.
They were worshipping stone, wood, and and a whole assortment of gods.
So, when God challenges Israel to call out to their gods for salvation, He knows those false gods can't do a thing. They're not gonna answer. Yet, as ridiculous as God's response sounds, it reflects the position of His people's hearts. They had "turned their backs" to God rather than glorify Him with "their faces."
Pay attention when the Bible notes someone turning their face to heaven or to God. It's usually in humble prayer, repentance, or worship.
It's hard to turn your face to a holy God and worship an idol at the same time.
Jeremiah's words should redirect our hearts to face God. The more we face our idols and turn our backs to God, the more we endanger our souls.
But, the more we choose life, turn to God, and rely on the power of the Holy Spirit, the more we allow Him to shape our hearts. It's the only guarantee against a heart of stone.
Drop the Wooden Saviors
If we cling to our wooden saviors—those fragile and temporal gods—then we have no enduring kingdom.
We need to turn our faces to God during this chaotic time. It will result in softened hearts, elevating the risen Savior.
More to Savor ?
The work week is hard enough. Devotional time in the Word is strained. And, the Bible can be a hard book to read.
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