Archive for August 30th, 2017

Today’s reading is full of comparisons to illustrate what has been (or should have been), and what was actually the case at this point in the history of God’s people.  Amongst these are a bride and a prostitute, mating-season animals and a “choice vine of sound and reliable stock” (2:21), a broken cistern and living water and a fertile land and barren heights.  There is even a comparison between the faithfulness of neighbouring pagan nations who have been loyal to their pagan gods, and the unfaithfulness of the people of Israel.  Jeremiah’s words serve to show that the people are broken, empty and compromised.

This unfaithfulness is mirrored in the compromise of the land itself, “Is there any place where you have not been ravished?” (3:2) They have looked at other gods and not turned away; “But you said, ‘It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them’” (2:25).  More than that, they see no blame and no accountability for this: “You say, ‘I am innocent: he (God) is not angry with me’” (2:35).  Instead of “blushing with shame”, the people are “brazen”.

Yet it is clear that the people of Israel still speak to God, “Have you not just called to me?” (3:4), but go on sinning, unable to admit wrongdoing and placing their own judgements on whether their actions are acceptable or not.  In terms of a comparison, this is the opposite of commitment, discipline, faithfulness and repentance.

Carried on a tide of ‘what most people do, say and think’ as being the best way to live, unable to turn away from distractions, willing to compromise what they know is God’s will and clinging to their own broken cisterns, so we see the behaviour of God’s people.  Sound familiar?

Now look at the richness offered by faithfulness (consider the contrasting language such as ‘fertile’, ‘living water’ etc.) available as much then as they are now; Jeremiah’s words show change is needed – and fast!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We don’t see the people’s reaction to Jeremiah’s words but it would be reasonable to assume they would not be welcome.  It is challenging to be told what you are doing is wrong but prayerfully consider if there are any broken cisterns in your life which should be replaced with living water.

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