Saturday, December 10, 2011

"Do you not fear me?" - December 10th, 2011

21‘ Hear this now, O foolish people,
Without understanding,
Who have eyes and see not,
And who have ears and hear not:
22 Do you not fear Me?’ says the LORD.  
23 But this people has a defiant and rebellious heart;
They have revolted and departed.
24 They do not say in their heart,
“ Let us now fear the LORD our God,
Who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season.
He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest.”
25 Your iniquities have turned these things away,
And your sins have withheld good from you.
Jeremiah 5:21-25
History and Context:
Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet, because he constantly wept over the city of Jerusalem. He constantly had to prophesy destruction over Jerusalem because of their sin, but the people never listened to him. He was constantly beat and thrown in prison because of his messages, but he stuck to prophesying the truth of what God told Him and God continued to confirm him as the true prophet by causing what he prophesied to come to pass. Even though Jeremiah was constantly prophesying destruction, he also was prophesying hope. His message was always "turn back to God and the destruction will eventually pass."

The Text:
This is God speaking through Jeremiah to the people of Israel. These are pretty harsh words asking the Israelites why they do not fear the Lord. He reminds them that it is He that controls the seasons and controls whether their crops grow or not and yet they do not fear Him. the word fear means literally 'to stand in awe or in reverence'. They did not revere Him and were not in awe of Him. They had forgotten that It was the Lord that provided for them. They had forgotten that without Him they would've still been slaves in Egypt like their ancestors, and that without Him they wouldn't have any food because they wouldn't be able to grow their crops. Finally the Lord makes it clear that it was their own sins that had withheld good from them. It was their own choices and it is their own choice whether they return to that state of goodness.

The Challenge:
The challenge is simple: Don't repeat the mistakes of the Israelites! Don't forget how awesome God is. In today's society we love to preach about how close God wants to be with us and that is important. The entire basis of Christianity is relationship with our Lord and Creator, but we can't allow that desire for relationship to cause us to forget how great and how awesome He is. We can't take ourselves out of His presence thinking we can just do whatever we want and then return to Him. This is what happened to the Israelites when God said that there sin has withheld good from them. Don't let your sin withhold God's goodness from you!

The Prayer:
Lord, reveal to me your greatness. Continue to reveal to me how awesome you are each day. Don't let me lose my fear and reverence of you. I love you! In Jesus' name, Amen!

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