Today’s readings.. (2 Samuel 13), (Jeremiah 17), (Matthew 28)

There is much food for thought and meditation in our chapter in Jeremiah today (17).  What a burden lay on this prophet, the final prophet to the kings and people in Jerusalem in its final years before God showed the fullness of his anger on the place.
Jeremiah received – to give to the people – a series of statements setting out the principles on which God acts. “Blessed is the man (& woman) who trusts in the LORD, whose trust IS the LORD.  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when the heat comes …” [v.7,8]  Interesting that phrase, “who trust IS the LORD”.  It reminds us of Enoch – of whom it is recorded – he “walked with God” [Gen.5 v.24].
The foundation fact is spelt out in v.10, “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man (& woman) according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”   The word “fruit” is significant, it can be good or bad, the deeds we do (or fail to do) bear fruit of some kind or another – as we are seeing in our 2nd Samuel readings with the increasing disfunction of David’s large household – God was giving him “the fruit of his deeds.”
We read Jeremiah’s lamentation, “they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living water” [v.13] and it is now the same situation today. Christianity is a dismal shadow of what it was originally; we think of the point Paul made to the Ephesians, “Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word.” [5  v.25,26]. God’s word washed the minds of those who were willing to clean out the filth and remove the misunderstandings that silted up their minds, but it rarely happens today, so the ninth verse in Jeremiah’s chapter is more true than ever  “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?”  Only those who read and digest God’s word regularly have a worthwhile measure of understanding and recognise the wonder of God’s mercy and the fact that “I the LORD search the heart’ and will pray to God, as Jeremiah did, “Be not a terror to me; you are my refuge in the day of disaster.”

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