Todays readings.. 1 Samuel 29&30, Jeremiah 5, Matthew 16
“MY PEOPLE LOVE TO HAVE IT SO”
We quoted these words at the end of our thoughts yesterday. These were the words of God to Jeremiah. What was it that God’s people loved to have in a certain way? God said, “An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land; the people prophecy falsely and the priests rule at their direction; my people love to have it so” [Ch.5 v.30,31]
Why would the people love to have it this way? In earlier verses we read more of God’s complaints about the attitude that had developed among his people, “They do not say in their hearts, ‘Let us fear the LORD our God.’ ”[v.24] They had not appreciated that he provided the “rain in its season, the autumn rain and the spring rain.” God further says, “their houses are full of deceit; therefore they have become great and rich” [v.27].
There are so many similar attitudes in our 21st Century. Human nature has not changed in 2500 years! So often wealth is built up by clever dealing, manipulating the stock market, so that trading often is no more than gambling! We perceive that so much “wealth” today is not the result of honest labour.
There is no fear, that is, no awe of God, the great Creator. Worse still, as we quoted above, “the priests rule at their direction” many who parade themselves as being in the service of God bring a false message to those who hear them. How many realize the same thing is happening today! We have heard it said at funerals, ‘your loved ones are still alive, they are in heaven looking down on you”.
They also say, or at least imply. ‘God is totally a God of love, he always forgives whatever ‘believers’ do that is wrong – once saved – and you are always saved! Many ignore that laying the ‘foundation’ to being ‘saved’ is in Mark 16 v.16 – which is more fully detailed in John 3 v.16, 22.23. Paul provides the ultimate example, look at what he wrote at the end of his life – 2 Timothy 4 v.3-8.
Jeremiah laments about those who “have spoken falsely of the LORD and have said, ‘He will do nothing; no disaster will come upon us… ” [v.12]. How false! There is a Psalm where David petitions God, “Arise, O LORD; O God lift up your hand … Break the arm of the wicked and evildoer; call his wickedness to account …” [Psa. 10 v.12,15]. God has answered such prayers in the past, but since nearly all the people in our world today “love to have it so” – God’s next response will be utterly fearful – and how soon now will that be!.