Tuesday 16 February 2016

Bible Book:

“Thus says the Lord: What wrong did your ancestors find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves?” (v. 5)

Jeremiah 2:1-13 Tuesday 16 February 2016

Psalm: Psalm 37:1-11


We are in court and Judah is in the dock. Theprosecutor is in full voice, aghast at the scandalous way thepeople have abandoned Yahweh (God) after everything that has beendone for them.

The accusation goes down the generations, to "yourchildren's children" (v. 9), and all creation is called on toshudder at the scale of Judah's betrayal.

"Be appalled, O heavens, at this,
    be shocked, be utterly desolate,
says the Lord,
for my people have committed two evils:
    they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living water,
    and dug out cisterns for themselves,
cracked cisterns
    that can hold no water." (vv. 12-13)

The crime is that Judah has walked away from theage-old covenant, forged with Abram (Genesis 12:2-3). From the beginnings of thejourney that continued into Canaan, on into the wilderness andeventually settling in the Promised Land, God had never abandonedthe people.

They, however, had traded in their commitment forthe worship of false gods; for intermarriage with other nations andlost their focus on Yahweh.

Now, their wronged lover was calling out forjustice. Imagine being Jeremiah and standing in front of theJudeans - many of them married to people from other tribes - andtelling them how much God hated what they had done. Were theypenitent? How obedient to the heavenly call were they likely tobe?

But the compulsion on the prophet was overwhelming.It had been there from before he was born. He had to bring God'saccusation.

To Ponder

  • How likely are you to demand penitence from people today?
  • To what extent is the Church more likely to tackle structuralinjustice than individual wrong? Why do you think that mightbe?
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