Todays readings… 1 Samuel 31, Jeremiah 6, Matthew 17
“BECAUSE THEY HAVE NOT PAID ATTENTION TO MY WORDS”
There are many parallels in the life and difficulties Jeremiah faced – to the situation surrounding us today. The account of his life unfolds to reveal an increasing struggle against rampart godlessness – there are obvious parallels – and lessons for us – as we face the same situation. These are actually more invasive as we encounter them most particularly through nearly all the media sources as well as in the daily lives of many of us.
We can compare Jeremiah’s struggle with that of Samuel in his old age with the unfolding disaster of the final years of Saul’s reign. Yet, compared to the follies surrounding Jeremiah, an inspiring transformation awaited the nation as David became king: how wonderful that there is a far greater transformation awaiting the world when David’s greater Son becomes king!
We long for this to happen , but until it does, there are lessons for us from Jeremiah’s experiences, as they are parallel to ours. How godless were the attitudes surrounding him – but Israel had experienced all the blessings of being God’s nation! But our world has in the past had abundant awareness of the testimonies and guidance in God’s word! But today, as in Jeremiah’s day, these testimonies have been swamped by the attitudes of the flesh.
In today’s 6th chapter the prophet is told, “Thus says the LORD … I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Pay attention … But they said, ‘We will not pay attention.'” [v.16,17] The Creator’s dramatic pronouncement follows, “Hear, O earth; behold, I am bringing disaster upon this people … because they have not paid attention to my words” [v.19] The people are told to make a ” most bitter lamentation, for suddenly the destroyer will come … They are all stubbornly rebellious …” [v.26,28] What terrible events were about to overwhelm and destroy Israel in Jeremiah’s days..
We can say that terrible events are about to come on our world today, but, unlike what Jeremiah was going to experience, “for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short” [Matt. 24 v.22] although nearly all today “have not paid attention to my words” in the same way as their forebears had.
To conclude we reflect back on words we read in Isaiah some weeks ago about God’s coming king “from the stump of Jesse … his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD …. with righteousness he shall judge … and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.” [11 v.1,3,4] May we be there, to experience his “righteousness” when the whole world will be paying attention to his words – and the wicked are no longer in existence.