If I haven’t said it before, I say it now: I’m a big fan of Jeremiah. Not always thought of as the most uplifting of prophets, I find him the most transparent, though he had every reason to want to hide his true feelings.
He had a hard job, after all, trying to knock some sense into the wayward Israelites. If they didn’t listen to his warnings, exile was coming. But they didn’t like his rebukes and let him know it with rejection and abuse.
Though he had made it clear, the people just couldn’t seem to figure out why life was not going their way. A drought swept through the land, leaving wells dry and the ground cracked. Along with the people, domestic and wild animals alike suffered for lack of water.
Yet, they wanted to place the blame on God for their trouble.
Isn’t it funny, how we do that? It’s clear that our own actions, our own faithlessness, have led to the consequences we’re living in, and yet, for some reason, God’s to blame.
God made it clear, through Jeremiah, that he saw through their pretense. Though they might acknowledge they had sinned to some degree, it was really on God to save them “for the sake” of his name. If he was the hope of Israel they knew him to be, then he could use his power to save them. After all, he wasn’t surprised by any of this, so it was up to him to do something about it.
That’s why these words might hit a little close to home for some. I know they have for me:
Are you a wanderer? Has God called you to himself, made clear his message of salvation and hope through Christ, and yet, you wander away, enticed by the things of this world?
How’s that working out for you?
Maybe it’s time to read a bit of Jeremiah and then a lot of Jesus.
The last verse of the great hymn, Come Thou Font by Robert Robinson hits the nail on the head:
Oh, to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be
Let that goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to Thee
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it
Prone to leave the God I love
Here’s my heart, oh, take and seal it
Seal it for Thy courts above
My wandering has left me in such debt to the grace of God through Christ Jesus. As I’m tempted on a daily basis to wander from his presence, to leave the God I love, his Spirit makes me feel it, and I fall anew on his mercy and forgiveness, ever thankful for the tight hold Christ has on me.
The troubles of this life have no root in God, but in the sinful state in which we live and the world around us. May we wander no more, but put our hope in Christ alone, resting in his mercy and grace until that day we stand before him in those heavenly courts above.
Grace and Peace