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

Sunday, August 11, 2013

August 11 - Jeremiah 14-17: God is Beyond Convincing - Judah Must Repent or Perish

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 14-17

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

No one could convince God to spare Judah. Only Judah's repentance would save her.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

"I will not listen to Judah's prayers."
Jeremiah pleads Judah's case.
"Jeremiah, no one can change My Mind. The northern juggernaut will expend my anger against you."
"Jeremiah, don't get married, have children, or mourn the dead. Someday, Israel will not remember the Exodus; they will glory in exiting exile. Yes, Israel will return. But first they must understand who I am.
"Judah's sin—shrines for no-gods everywhere. Cursed are those who think they are protected by humans. Blessed are the ones who trust Me. Celebrate the Sabbath My way. Then you will be a city for the ages."

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

God would no longer listen to words—He would only listen to actions.

Jeremiah channels his inner Moses and pleads for Israel. Regrettably, God no longer is willing to listen to anyone defend Israel. The days of a prophet saving Judah are gone. Judah has turned their collective back against God; therefore, God has no choice but to punish them.

Jeremiah is starting to lose faith.

Even Jeremiah cannot stand what is happening. He is starting to question his place in God's Plan. God would continue to protect Jeremiah, even when He did not protect Judah. What we should see is that God's spokespeople are not aloof. They feel pain when they bring bad news to God's Chosen People.

God's Reputation would no longer be based on the Exodus. It would be based on returning Israel and Judah to their homes.

To Judah, one problem with remembering God is that His most-famous deed was completed hundreds of years ago. Because of that temporal distance they would not take Him serious. So God would make a new famous deed—getting Israel and Judah out of exile. Unfortunately for the ones living at the time, they would be the ones punished, not the ones saved from exile.

If Judah observed the Sabbath correctly, God would save the city.

This is a strange section coming at this point. God has told Jeremiah that nothing can save Judah then tells Judah if they observed the Sabbath correctly with their heart instead of their brains they would have an everlasting city. The Sabbath was meant to be a day of rest, not a day to do the other things you didn't have a chance to do the rest of the week. By observing the Sabbath with their heart instead of their head they would show God they were serious about turning back toward Him. Even the smallest sign of return will set our relationship right. Would Judah give Him that sign? Unfortunately, no.

What is God's most famous act to you?

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