September 3
‘All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; (…) admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth.’ Hebrews 11:13
Bible reading: Jeremiah 29:1-14 (Go to the Bible passage)
Moses, and many prophets after him, had repeatedly warned the people of Israel that when they would become disobedient, God would uproot them from the Promised Land (Deuteronomy 28:63). And so we read that this happened in the days of Jeremiah.
But whenever God disciplines His disobedient children, there are the rebellious among them (Titus 1:10) who keep telling themselves and others that God is only a God of ‘love’, and therefore everything will turn out alright. And by ‘alright’ they mean that everything will remain as it was before. They mislead people and refuse to bow down before God themselves. And in this way, they prevent others from humbling themselves before God. They make the confession of guilt into an empty show and while God turns away in His wrath, they firmly maintain that God’s presence is blessing the congregation. If we have never experienced the presence of God, we are easily content with the mere assumption of His presence…!
In Jeremiah’s days too, there were people pretending to be God`s messengers while God had not sent them (27:15). People like these are the eternal optimists with their bright and breezy sermons: a little patience, and all will be well! (28:2-11). No wonder, that it then becomes difficult to listen to someone who is genuinely sent by God.
But those who, nevertheless, have the courage to listen to him, receive a tremendous message. A message that delivers from foolish delusions and self-centeredness: ‘Seek the peace and prosperity of the unbeliever to whom I have send you. Pray to the Lord for him, for in the peace that God will give him, you will have peace’ (:7).
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