Monday, November 15, 2010

We are the Israelites

I got really into Jeremiah today. I mean, I was already passed the initial fall of Jerusalem and captivity, but I kept reading today and it just hit me how completely stupid the Israelites are. Seriously, they have just seen everything Jeremiah prophesied come true, everyone they ever knew either killed or carried off to exile. 

And they're like, "We're thinking of going to Egypt, but we want you to ask God what he thinks first" (Jeremiah 42:2-3). Well, Jeremiah does, but since they don't like God's answer, they say he's lying, and a false prophet!

Seriously? Everything he prophesied just came true! They have NO REASON to doubt his word.

But they decide it is better to go back to Egypt, despite their pending destruction there, and decide that things were better when they were worshipping idols, so they're going to go back to that too. 

They are trading in beauty and glory and wholeness and truth for ashes and ugliness and brokenness and destruction and CRAP.

(Sorry, I just totally lost any eloquence I may have had.)

And God is sad and grieved (Jeremiah 42:10) and broken and hurt that he had to pour out his justice in the first place. All he wants is their love and faithfulness.

But they are so stupid.

(Now in Spanish, the word stupid is really strong, so I have been really trying to replace it with a less-strong word, but in this case, they really are STUPID in the fullest sense of the word in Spanish or English. Just read Jeremiah 42-44 if you don't believe me.)

No wonder Jeremiah is known as the weeping prophet. If everyone I ever knew, not to mention the people I was called to minister to, was stupid, refused to listen, would not learn, and refused to turn to God, I'd cry all the time too!

But we are not any different from the Israelites. Our whoring hearts (Ezekiel 6:9) go after every shiny thing that captures our fancy. We aren't any more faithful than they are; we just have seen the greatest act of love in history: that God became man and died on our cross. And we haven't faced the punishment yet, as they did in the last resort of love.

When will we ever learn? God is still giving us a choice: life and prosperity or death and destruction (Deut. 30, Jer. 21)? His marvelous grace will justify us so that we can enter into his presence and spend eternity with him as our reward and our inheritance (Joshua 13:33). He still just wants our love, and therefore our obedience (1 John 5:3).

When will we stop playing the harlot in our marriage to Christ? When will we take our wedding vows seriously?

I, sinner, take Thee, Jesus, to be my Saviour. . . And I do promise and covenant before God and these witnesses to be Thy loving and faithful Bride; in sickness and in health, in plenty and in want, in joy and in sorrow, for time and for eternity.

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