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God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Friday, August 9, 2013

August 9 - Jeremiah 7-9: God's Chosen People want the Rewards, not the Righteousness of being God's Chosen People

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 7-9

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

God's Temple will only protect those whose hearts are God's.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God sends Jeremiah to the Temple:
"I will not live among a people serving other gods.
"Jeremiah, stop your prayers. Keep your offerings. My People only do what they want. Soon, their valleys will reek of death.
"I waited to save them but no one asked. They reveled in having My Word but had no ability to feel sorry. Nothing is salvageable."
Has God abandoned us? Is there no relief for this pain? I could weep forever.
"They refuse to know Me. They'll be scattered until nothing is left.
"Brag about knowing Me, your god who sets things right."

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God will not protect His Chosen People regardless of their heart.

Judah thought that if they had the Temple in Honor of God and God's Revelation that He would be obligated to protect them from any and all abusers. What they did not realize is that God wants people to set things right, not worship Him. Worship comes as a response to God setting all things right. God told Jeremiah to stop praying. God told Judah to stop giving offerings. God warned them, "Only if you clean up your act (the way you live, the things you do), only if you do a total spring cleaning on the way you live and treat your neighbors, … only then will I move into your neighborhood" (7:5-7, The Message, emphasis original).
Today, if churches want to become more relevant, if Christians want to have an impact as God's ambassadors setting all things right, we must get beyond our association of worship and membership. Those who worship should be Chosen People and Chosen People should worship, but God cares more for how we act than how we worship. Do you want God to move back into your congregation or your life? Set things right with others. Then, and only then, will God return.

God's Chosen People never listen.

This part is difficult for me to read. I want to think, like Jeremiah, that my words are helpful in getting God's Chosen People to return to Him. I want to think my prayers for revival are listened to and heeded. Unfortunately, God's Chosen People care more for doing things their way than obeying God. They have never listened to God, even from the time they left Egypt. "I listened carefully / but heard not so much as a whisper. / No one expressed one word of regret" (8:6). God's Chosen People care more for having the title than obeying the God.

All that is left for Judah is punishment.

Since they are unwilling to listen, God will allow other nations who have no interest in setting things right to run roughshod over His Land. They will commit unspeakable acts, desecrating the bones of His Chosen People. Those who are living will wish for death. Since Judah will not respond in repentance, God will respond in punishment.

We should brag about knowing the god who sets all things right.

Don’t let the wise brag of their wisdom.
   Don’t let heroes brag of their exploits.
Don’t let the rich brag of their riches.
   If you brag, brag of this and this only:
That you understand and know me.
   I’m GOD, and I act in loyal love.
I do what’s right and set things right and fair,
   and delight in those who do the same things.
These are my trademarks. (9:23-24)

Do you want to set things right as a lighthouse to the nations or do you want the title "Christian" or "Chosen Person of God"?

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