Bible In One Year-Day 139 (Monday, May 19, 2014)
Commentary: Jer4-6. Jeremiah was born in the time of Manasseh, the king who revived witchcraft in Jerusalem; he never received his calling until the time of Josiah, the son of Manasseh. In the initial moment of his calling, he faced some grievous opposition because he proclaimed God’s warnings to Judah for defecting to idolatry. The opposition was so bad that he withdrew for a while from answering God’s calling until God came to encourage him that He would put his words in his mouth and promised protection and guidance. The best way Jeremiah could describe the problem between God and His love was to liken it to a marriage that is breaking up into divorce (Jer2-3) and extra-marital affairs or harlotry; broken heart. Despite the breaking of God’s heart, He still made provisions and conditions for restoration; Jeremiah 4:1-2 “If thou wilt return, O Israel, saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not remove.And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.”
They rejected God’s offer and leaned on their own understanding and counsel. They trusted in their own ability and strength which eventually drove away God’s blessings; their land did not yield food and there was no rain to water their dryness. It is one thing for us to work hard, but it is another thing for God to bless it. The sins of these people drove away God’s blessings;
Jeremiah 5:23-25 “But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone.Neither say they in their heart, Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest.Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.”
The manner in which the rain falls in the physical is the same manner in which blessing falls in the spiritual (showers of blessings). Blessing does not fall on a life living in iniquity. The mere fact that you have something to take home now does not mean one is still right with God’s heart. A tree could be dead at the root and still have its leaves green for a while. Termites could have invaded a home but still have the paintings covering the wood on the outside. Judah and Israel were disconnected from God and there was internal decay without their knowing. God made this known to them through prophets but they never yielded to the words of God. This was what made Jeremiah to weep after seeing how horrible it would be for Jerusalem. Chapter6 was the last warning God gave to Jerusalem. He sent prophets and priests to them but they remained adamant; Jeremiah 6:16-17 “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.Also I set watchmen over you, saying, Hearken to the sound of the trumpet. But they said, We will not hearken.”
God is still warning somebody out there today who has gone out of His covenant and joined with another. Everything we do to sin breaks the heart of God. Many run away from reading Deut29-30 because it contains a lot of “curse are ye …” To run from reading them isn’t the protection from these curse but knowing what brings any of these curses to be is what matters. Taking one’s eyes away from looking towards a cemetery while passing by does not mean one will not die and be buried there one day. We need to flee every known sin. We should not compromise. When you compromise, you are agreeing to the terms binding the agreement which is contrary to God’s warning; Exodus 20:5 “Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;” Let us ask for the old path where we could find rest. Let us listen to the trumpet’s sound, wherewith we could escape the calamity to come. May His grace be sufficient for us in the name of Jesus. Our next reading for today is Jer7-9. Keep the fire burning and alive.