Monday, 27 June 2022
‘Each time the message was this: ‘Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing ….”’ – Jeremiah 25:5[NLT]
The beauty of the Bible is that its message is contemporary- for the present day- as much as it was for the past time it was written for. The message of Prophet Jeremiah was given by God to His obstinate people who had turned away from Him, spurning His ways, forgetting His covenant with them time and again.
When God’s people were delivered from Egypt and called to make their home in the Promised Land, God made a covenant with them at Mount Sinai through Moses. The Ten Commandments were the basis of living a consecrated life for God. A careful examination of our reading would show us how a life of decline happened to God’s people as through several generations:
Vs.6&7 show us a clue to how the people provoked God to anger by the works of their hands- worshipping gods made by human hands. When the second commandment said: “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything…. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20:4,5)—they did exactly just that. Today we may not worship man-made gods/images, but on examining our lives we may be bowing down to many man-made idols like money, fame, family, possessions- some of which have taken the place of God in our lives!
Vs.3&4 shows how God had sent His Word thorough Jeremiah and many other prophets but as he said, “you have not listened or paid any attention.” God’s Word was put behind them and regarded of no value to pay attention to. Today we have God’s written Word available pointing to the right and the wrong; besides God speaks to us through His servants- evangelists, pastors, prophets, men and women of God— but what is our response? Proverbs 1:29-31 tells us of the consequences of disregarding God and His Word: “For they hated knowledge and chose not to fear the Lord. They rejected my advice and paid no attention when I corrected them. Therefore, they must eat the bitter fruit of living their own way, choking on their own schemes.”
Jeremiah predicted the desolation that would come to the people and the land when they had purposely turned from Him- they would be taken captive; they would become objects of horror and scorn; lose their joy and gladness; the light from their land (Vs.10). Psalm 37:38 [NLT] says, “But the rebellious will be destroyed; they have no future.”
One who has turned from God and His Word, not heeding His warnings given overtime will lose his joy, be bound by the chords of sin and in bondage, his life a scorn for others- ultimately the light of life will leave him.
As mentioned in the key verse and spoken over and over again by the prophets to His people, the only remedy is: ‘‘Turn from the evil road you are traveling and from the evil things you are doing ….” It’s a call to repent! Just as God was merciful to His people and wanted to them to come back to Him, He is the same today and speaks to us: “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…” The author of salvation is Christ Jesus Himself whose shed blood cleanses us from all sin: “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:9)
To Heed: “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;” (Acts 3:19)