Heart Prep for Sunday, September 16th
Have you ever seen someone make a complete train wreck of their lives? Maybe you saw it from a distance? Or perhaps it was up close and personal? Sadly, it's common enough that most of us have, or will, suffer through watching such a personal disaster. And sometimes it's made even more difficult because you see it coming before it happens. You're watching people make bad decisions, implement poor choices, follow the wrong person, and you just know that this is going to end badly. And then it does. And, of course, it gets even worse when the person whose life is falling apart can't see it. They complain that it wasn't really their fault, they didn't make those bad decisions - someone else did. They were just following along. They had no responsibility for what happened. They're just a victim.
Now, that scenario sounds all too familiar to many of us. But what do you do when it's an entire nation acting like this? And not just any nation, but God's chosen people who live in Judah. This is precisely the situation that Jeremiah is facing as we begin a long section of the book where Jeremiah is alternating between exposing their idolatry and pleading for them to repent. But they don't think they're doing anything wrong. They don't see any need for repentance. They're the victims here. And they think Jeremiah is taking things just a little too seriously.
And so Jeremiah is reminding them, over and over again, that these are not his words. These words are coming from the Lord Himself. In our passage this week, which is all of Jeremiah chapter 2, we see Jeremiah invoking some version of "Thus says the Lord ... thus declares the Lord ... the Word of the Lord says ..." Once again, we see that the main character is neither the people nor the prophet, but rather "The Word of the Lord." God is the One giving Jeremiah the words to say. Words we need just as much as Jeremiah did, and just as much as the people of Judah did. I've entitled this series, "Faithful Living in a Fallen Land" because Jeremiah is filled with messages from God exhorting us to faithful living, while being realistic about the train wreck lives of the people around us (and sometimes, even some of us). Jeremiah was an ancient prophet for a modern time ... and we have much to learn from him. See you Sunday. Dr. Dave