Thursday 20 March 2014

Bible Book:

“To give to all according to their ways.” (v. 10)

Jeremiah 17:5-10 Thursday 20 March 2014


The book of Jeremiah is the longest prophetic writing in the OldTestament during which Jeremiah warns God's people of thecatastrophe that was to fall upon them because of their idolatry.This passage is concerned with messages from God to the nations ofJudah and its rulers, prophesying their downfall and offeringprayers and laments.

Jeremiah writes very directly; there are no half measures withhim. Either you trust God or you don't. And if you don't you willnot survive because you have not put your trust in God, but inearthly things that have no endurance. These two pathways arepreviously found in Psalm 1, so Jeremiah is continuing the ideathat we can choose what we do with our lives but that a life withGod will be rewarded. If we turn to take the path away from God wewill be punished.

We tend to think of Jeremiah as the doom-laden one who had areally hard time of it with his dreadful prophecies, but here wefind him quite poetical. Jeremiah uses the natural environment todescribe what he is saying. Thus the context of his message is setwithin creation, and he finds good and harmful natural forces tojustify what we should and should not be doing as God's people.There is something quite endearing about the away he uses nature toshow how God will continue to care for the people - "Blessed arethose who trust in the Lord ... They shall be like a tree plantedby water, sending out its roots by the stream" (vv. 7-8). Here is avery simple but beautiful image of God's faithfulness as thesetrees will flourish in flood or heat wave.

To Ponder

  • Care of the environment is high on most people's agendasparticularly after the heavy rains of this winter. How could youdevelop a creation approach to your understanding of God'sfaithfulness today?
  • We all can fall prey at times, to being negative about theworld and what is going on in it. Reflect on how you might turnthoughts and feelings that are despondent, to a more creative andencouraging stance that may energise those around you as well asyourself.
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