We found today’s readings rather overwhelming in the variety of thoughts they provoked! Our chapter (16) in Jeremiah is in two contrasting parts. The first part was God’s denunciation of his people; he said, “I have taken away my peace from this people, my steadfast love and mercy” [v.5]. And God did so – in greater and greater degrees because they failed to maintain their belief in God, no one was godly any more.
We are in awe that a parallel to this is happening in our world. Godless behaviour is more openly permitted; homosexuality for example is becoming accepted as “normal” with legislation to recognise this. ! Jeremiah tells his generation on God’s behalf, “you have done worse than your father’s … every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me.” [v.12] Could not the same be said of the ‘christian’ world today!
Then the scene changes to the distant future of Israel, a scene which we have witnessed in our lifetime. “Behold the days are coming declares the LORD when … I will bring them back to their own land that I gave to their fathers,” adding, “I am sending for many fishers … afterward I will send for many hunters … for my eyes are on all their ways.” [v.14-17]
Israel are God’s people, their re-establishment as a nation after 1900 years is a miracle God caused. Just as God’s eyes have been “on all their ways” because they are his people so it is true, that the Gentiles who accepted Christ also became his people (see Romans 9 v.24-26) and God’s eyes are therefore “on all their ways.”
How sad he must be as he sees what has become of the world today where the Bible is so readily available in every tongue, but so little heeded. Will he not end up dealing with them as he did the Jews in the days of Jeremiah – and again in the days of the apostles, because they killed His Son? Of course he will – and, we are in awe – because this seems to be about to happen.
Glancing forward to tomorrow’s chapter in Jeremiah we note God’s words recorded there. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick: who can understand it? I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give to every man (and woman) according to his (or her) ways, according to the fruit of their deeds” [v.9,10] What “fruit” is your life producing? Let us each do some careful self-examination.
By Bro D.Caudery
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