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

Saturday, August 10, 2013

August 10 - Jeremiah 10-13: God Reminds Israel of the Terms of Their Covenant

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 10-13

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

God reminds Judah of the terms of their agreement made centuries ago.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

God continues, "You envy nations that worship pieces of wood."
Why are we here? Because our leaders are too stupid to ask God for help! God, correct us who messed everything up.
"Remember from the Covenant that obedience leads to blessing and disobedience to curses. Nothing has changed. Watch out! Doom comes soon. You can't get out of this through more religion. The god of your religion sends the punishment!
"Jeremiah, don't get caught up in petty comparisons. You will be protected from Israel's judgment."
Israel would be rendered useless. Enemies prepared to attack. "They attack because you worship Baal."

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

Israel wants to be like nations that worship blocks of wood.

To be honest, God does have a point. These pieces of wood do nothing bad. The problem is they do nothing at all! The wooden gods have to be carried around. Yet Israel likes the foreign nations' worship and worships these gods when they have a personal relationship with the Creator of the universe. How does this make sense to anyone?

Israel's punishment is part of the Covenant.

We often overlook books like Jeremiah because they show the violent side of God's wrath. It makes God seem angry and trigger-happy. How could a God of love do such terrible things to His Chosen People? The answer is that He told them this would happen at the beginning and they accepted it. We cannot accept the blessings of being God's Chosen People without the responsibility to be wholly God's. If we shirk our responsibility God will punish us. It is as simple as that. The God who is Love must do this to uphold justice—even when it pains Him to do so.

God reminds Jeremiah not to get caught up on who wins and loses on earth.

Jeremiah asks the question we all ask from time to time,
Why do bad people have it so good?
   Why do con artists make it big?

How long do we have to put up with this—
   the country depressed, the farms in ruin—
And all because of wickedness, these wicked lives? (12:1, 4, The Message)
God's answer is interesting if not unsettling, "So, Jeremiah, if you’re worn out in this footrace with men, / what makes you think you can race against horses?" (12:5). Jeremiah had forgotten that God ultimately wins in the end. The wicked may seem to have easy lives, but in the end they will not enjoy it. That does not mean we should sit back and wait for them to fall; but we should also not envy those who prosper from not setting things right. God will set things right in the end, no matter what happens in the interim. We are not to base our happiness on our physical blessings anyway. We are to understand that God's Way is higher than our way. Therefore, physical blessings are like icing on a cake. We love it, but the cake's the main part.

Do you want both the responsibility and the blessings of the Covenant?

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