Today’s Reading: JEREMIAH 8:4-11:23
Sometimes I wonder what people would think if they knew that every day I spend some time reading a 2000 – 3000 year old book. That I enjoy reading it and that I am trying to base my life on what it says, Sure, culturally some will understand that this particular book is the foundation of Christianity. But they often see that book as something to have on display or owned as a means to records family births, marriages and deaths.
Why spend so much time each day reading prophecies of a man named Jeremiah to a people that live in Judah in a place that is thousands of miles away from where I live? Why read the spiritual history of a nation and a people that pretty much faded away from history for over 2000 years? Why read? Why study? Why share? Why invest? Why care?
Because it applies to me and my world today!
Just this morning, the first 4 verses of today’s reading jumped off the page at me. There are three reasons why I found this particular passage worthy of my time, my investment, my post. First read the passage…
Jeremiah 8:4 – 7 (NLT)
4 “Jeremiah, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord says:
“‘When people fall down, don’t they get up again?
When they discover they’re on the wrong road, don’t they turn back?
5 Then why do these people stay on their self-destructive path?
Why do the people of Jerusalem refuse to turn back?
They cling tightly to their lies
and will not turn around.
6 I listen to their conversations
and don’t hear a word of truth.
Is anyone sorry for doing wrong?
Does anyone say, “What a terrible thing I have done”?
No! All are running down the path of sin
as swiftly as a horse galloping into battle!
7 Even the stork that flies across the sky
knows the time of her migration,
as do the turtledove, the swallow, and the crane.
They all return at the proper time each year.
But not my people!
They do not know the Lord’s laws.
1. I love how the words can grab your attention: While reading God’s Word we get to read poems, songs, history, dialogs etc. It is reading literature. There is form and structure and style and tone and meter and all those other things my language teacher tried to teach this stubborn high school student.
2. The truths presented are valid today: Verse 4 asks two questions that grab the readers attention. They are questions that were applicable 2600 years ago and they are still true today. They ring out as wisdom. People do not typically go on making mistakes, typically they can see their error and turn around. True years ago, true today.
3. The words help gain some insight into who God is: In this passage we understand a few things about God. Firstly, He is involved in his people, he hears their conversations. He wonders at their persistence in running down a path of sin. He is God and he cares about His people.
4. The passage presents a problem and a solution: Through out verses 4 – 7 there is a problem presented – the people are constantly walking away from God into a life of sin. There is a glimpse of insight into why this happened at the end of the 7th verse, “they do not know the Lord’s laws.” They do not know to turn from their own destruction because they have not listened, read, studied, meditated, memorized and applied God’s Law (the Word of God, The Bible) to their lives. They have ignored what was written down so they and the generations that follow would know the best path.
Because I can learn from the mistakes of others
All the way back on March 19th we read these words that Moses wrote down for the ancestors of the people that Jeremiah had shared today’s passage with:
Deuteronomy 28:58 – 65 (NLT)
58 If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the LORD your God- 59 the LORD will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses. 60 He will bring upon you all the diseases of Egypt that you dreaded, and they will cling to you. 61 The LORD will also bring on you every kind of sickness and disaster not recorded in this Book of the Law, until you are destroyed. 62 You who were as numerous as the stars in the sky will be left but few in number, because you did not obey the LORD your God. 63 Just as it pleased the LORD to make you prosper and increase in number, so it will please him to ruin and destroy you. You will be uprooted from the land you are entering to possess.
64 Then the LORD will scatter you among all nations, from one end of the earth to the other. There you will worship other gods—gods of wood and stone, which neither you nor your fathers have known. 65 Among those nations you will find no repose, no resting place for the sole of your foot. There the LORD will give you an anxious mind, eyes weary with longing, and a despairing heart
IF only they had listened Israel and Judah could have written a completely different story!Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/angryglock/