This past Friday I had the pleasure of making the 7 ½ hour drive down to Santee, South Carolina to take part in my stepmother’s 80th birthday celebration. Then on Sunday I had the same pleasure of making the return trip home. Please don’t misunderstand me, the party itself was great and spending time with my dad and stepmother was wonderful. It was the drive itself that was not all that exciting. If you have ever driven longs stretches of I-95 you know that over those hours everything starts to look the same. One tends to focus straight ahead and the scenery going by is lost, one “cruise controlled”mile of road at a time.
I have found that life can be like that too. Often in the day to day that we call living we have an “eyes on the road” perspective that keeps us from looking to the right or left and seeing things that have been there, all around us the entire time. I am sad to say that sometimes in my tunnel vision it is surprising to me that I actually have neighbors and that they too exist and have joys and sorrows of their own. It’s like “oh hello—where did you come from? You’ve been there the entire time, you say?”
Have you ever noticed that it can be the same way when journeying with the Israelites through the Old Testament? We have this telescopic sort of vision which focuses in on God’s chosen people and our field of view only allows for whatever or whoever enters the little round peephole of the chapter and verse we are reading at the time. We forget that there was a whole big world out there and that God was not just the God of the Israelites but is really the God of the whole world, whether that world wanted to recognize Him as God or not.
This week in Jeremiah we will be seeing the world a bit more from the all-encompassing view of God as we begin to look at what God had to say to the nations. Our telescopic view will turn into more of a panorama shot. What we see might surprise us. It will probably shock us. It is my hope that it will edify us and help us to grow in God’s grace. I hope you will join me this Sunday as we look at Jeremiah chapters 46 and 47 with the sermon “The Prophet’s Message to the Nations.” I hope to see you there!