Lent 2022 – To Whom Do You Follow

Listen to Jeremiah 10-11

In Jeremiah 10-11 we begin to get a picture of what is good and what is not good. Basically, it boils down to following after the Creator or following after false gods. Sometimes we don’t even know what we’re doing. When we follow after other gods it can look like anything. Our god could be success, money, possessions, or a wood statue but there is only one true God, and He is the living God, and the eternal King. And there is no one like Him. In chapter 10 we finally get a glimpse of what Jeremiah thinks about what is happening. He cries out in his brokenness saying that he is severely wounded. He says “this is my intense suffering but I must bear it.” He knows he has been called to prophesy these hard things. When the culture that we live in has infiltrated our minds and heart so much that we don’t even know what is right and good anymore, and sometimes we just think it just is what it is. Each one followed the stubborness of their own heart. I think the point that God is trying to make in these 2 chapters is to spell out what is good. Several times it says in Jeremiah 11 that they were burning incense to Baal and adds in one “on their altars of shame.” From our last post, we found out that they were burning children in the fires of Topheth. The only thing I can think of is this “incense” is reference to them burning their children and the smell of their blood is rising to their god. It’s a horrific an evil thought.

What is the good life? What if the good life is a life lived in obedience to God? It seems that if a people do not have the Creator as their God then they follow after anything as a god. For these people, this following meant that they followed their god to complete, horrific, and evil destruction of their own children. No wonder Jeremiah said that he was broken and wounded. Can you imagine the heart ache of having to face completely what they have been doing. It’s like waking up one day and finally seeing the truth. We can often live a life so small that we only see our tiny little section of humanity and in the age of technology we can pretty much personalize that to remain narrow. When we awaken to truth this hard I can imagine it sends one into a tailspin. The mind starts reeling, your heart starts racing, and all you can say is “woe is me!”

How could this have been where they ended up?

In chapter 11, God sends Jeremiah to remind them of the covenant that He made with them when He brought them out of Egypt.

“Obey me, and do everything that I command you, and you will be my people, and I will be your God,” in order to establish the oath I swore to your ancestors, to give them a land flowing with milk and honey, as it is today.’”

Jeremiah 11:4b-5

I’ve walked with the Lord for 24 years, before I met Him I followed after my own stubborn heart and I ended up doing, being part of, and participating in some of the lowest, awful, and sinful things. I understand the path to ruin is slippery and quick and sometimes you don’t even know that you’re living in it. If not for the Lord Jesus Christ and His grace – woe is me. Here again, is another reason Lent can be so powerful, to lead us back to God when we are wayward and wandering. Just because we believe, or even live a Christian life, doesn’t mean that we don’t have to be vigilant that we are not walking after the stubborness of our own hearts or following after other gods.

The Lord of Armies is the One who judges righteously, and tests the hearts and minds of men. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commands” (John 14:15) God will not allow His children to be undisciplined when they have done wrong. Praise the Lord!

And you have forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons: My son, do not take the Lord’s discipline lightly

or lose heart when you are reproved by him,

for the Lord disciplines the one he loves

and punishes every son he receives.

Endure suffering as discipline: God is dealing with you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline—which all receive—then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Furthermore, we had human fathers discipline us, and we respected them. Shouldn’t we submit even more to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time based on what seemed good to them, but he does it for our benefit, so that we can share his holiness. 11 No discipline seems enjoyable at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Hebrews 12:5-11

Thanks for Listening,

Starla

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

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