Friday 19 February 2016

Bible Book:

“But this command I gave them, ‘Obey my voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be my people; and walk only in the way that I command you, so that it may be well with you.’” (v. 23)

Jeremiah 7:21-28 Friday 19 February 2016

Psalm: Psalm 38:1-9


The role of God's prophet was, of course, not to bea holy fortune-teller but to remind the people that God demandedtotal obedience: the covenant was a call to walk in completecommitment. All the burnt offerings and sacrifices could not atonefor living out of kilter with a holy God.

Jeremiah's entire career put him on the edge of hiscommunity but here he claims that every prophet occupies that samespace - God's voice on the edge.

Indeed, his argument is that the people's leadersof worship have got things so badly wrong that they have forgottenthe origins of the covenant call: walk with me to a land I willshow you (Genesis 12). That call to fellowship andcompanionship has been overtaken by increasingly corrupt sacrificesand ritual, says Jeremiah.

The rescue from slavery in Egypt; the lessonslearned during 40 years of godly provision in the wilderness; God'scontinued miraculous support of a chosen people - none of thesehave prevented the people becoming stiff-necked.

Jeremiah recruits "all [God's] servants theprophets" (v. 25) as his companions in calling urgently to thepeople to abandon the corrupt cultic practices and return to thecovenant relationship with God.

But in language that increasingly inflames hishearers - and of course the exiled people who later read the bookof Jeremiah - Jeremiah tells the crowd that God knows they will notlisten.

"You shall say to them: This is the nation that didnot obey the voice of the Lord their God, and did not acceptdiscipline; truth has perished; it is cut off from their lips." (v.28)

What a terrible thing to say to yourneighbours.

To Ponder

  • How might we speak out prophetically without being pushed tothe fringes of society?
  • Someone once said: "If you're not living on the edge, you'retaking up too much room." Is that right? And how might yourespond?
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