I have had some time today to read the first portion of the book of Jeremiah. I have read the first 7 chapters today, and a theme surfaces to me rather forcefully. It seems that the LORD communicates to the people of Israel that they have forgotten about HIM, and that they have put artificial gods in the place that is rightfully HIS. He tells of a coming judgement as retribution for their unchecked behavior.
We know from history that GOD held true to HIS promise, and that judgement did come.
I think too often in my life I have read something like this in Scripture and I have made that sound to myself that we make when we look at someone else and say, “It’s a pity they’ve done this to themselves. Why can’t they just listen to GOD, and do what HE says?”
The better and more appropriate reaction would be to confess to GOD that we are in the same place as those Israelites. That we have wandering hearts, too. How much easier things would be if I would just do this every day. If I would just take this Book as from HIS heart to mine, and agree with HIM on this issue – I have forgotten HIM, and confused my longing for HIM with a longing for “other things”.
We can say, “Those Israelites didn’t have a lick of sense! All they had to do was return to HIM!” But reality strikes our own heart down like a lightning bolt strikes a rotted tree. We are wanderers. I am a wanderer.
Daily I must return to HIM from the far country where I have retreated. The verse in Jeremiah 7:3 reminds me of what I must do:
Amend your ways and your doings…