Heart Prep for Sunday, March 17th
Well, this week we have another passage in Jeremiah (chapters 24-25) where the Lord tells His people who they are, what will happen to them (both good and bad), and why those things are going to happen. Of course, He’s told them these kinds of things already. So why say them again?
Because now He will present them in a paradoxical (or opposite) sort of way. For those who will be carried off into exile, those who think they’re obviously the bad guys, the ones who screwed up and are being punished, He’s going to give a hopeful message of the promise of restoration. But to those who get to stay in Jerusalem, who think they’re fine, who think they must be the good guys, He’s going to give a harsh message with the promise of judgment.
The bad guys get a hopeful promise and the good guys get a harsh promise. Sounds backwards, doesn’t it? But how many times have we thought we were the good guys, I mean, we’re doing the right things, so that means we deserve a reward, right? But we don’t always get it.
But other times, it seems pretty obvious, to us at least, that we’re the ones who screwed up and any punishment is just what we deserve. And then hope shows up, often in the form of mercy (not getting what we do deserve) and grace (getting what we don’t deserve). And that leads to restoration and reconciliation.
And Jeremiah tells them that one of the keys to understanding all of this … is their ability to listen … or, as the text says, “inclining our ears to hear” what the Lord is saying. So, what does all that mean? And why does God consider it so important? I guess we’ll find out together this Sunday. See you there! Dr. Dave