stubborn heart

SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 16:1-13

OBSERVATION/APPLICATION:

  1. Another difficult passage. If I read it correctly, the Lord is saying to Jeremiah, don’t get married, don’t have children, don’t mourn with those who mourn and and don’t celebrate with those who celebrate. Why? Because the coming disaster is discipline from God, and it will be awful. The only way I can make sense of this is if I remember this is AFTER years and years of warnings, and AFTER horrific and violent and perverse sinfulness. God is not being petty, He is addressing serious issues that are having serious consequences.
  2. This passage reminds me of when Jesus tells His disciples about the final judgment on Jerusalem, and that it would not be a good time to be pregnant or nursing [Matthew 24:19-22].
  3. After a lengthy time of God’s patient efforts to get our attention, He finally withdraws His blessing, His love, His pity [5], and allows us to ‘sleep in the bed of our own making’. Its not that God imposes unfair punishment, but gives them what they desired. They wanted to serve foreign gods [11], so they will serve foreign gods in a foreign land [13], without God’s help.
  4. Jesus reminds us that the sunshine and showers of God’s blessing fall upon both the righteous and the unrighteous [Matthew 6:45]. This means that even wicked people experience the benefit of good times. But the opposite is also true, seasons of struggle and judgment also fall upon both the righteous and the unrighteous. History and experience show this again and again. We love to accept the good times, but blame God for the bad times. Do we deserve either?
  5. Notice how sin degenerates from generation to generation [12], until the cycle is broken. How is the cycle broken? Usually through some form of intervention, and that is what God is doing here.
  6. Following the stubbornness of our evil hearts instead of obeying God. My desire is to be a Jesus follower. To follow Jesus is to obey God, for He lives the heart and will of God. The opposite of following Jesus is following the stubbornness of my evil heart. Either I surrender my heart to Jesus, and follow Him, or I maintain control of my heart and go with the default, of following its own desires. Where am I refusing to surrender my heart?

PRAYER:
Lord, I sense that my surrender to you is incomplete, and that I am also guilty of following the stubbornness within my heart. Please continue to show mercy, and help me break the cycle of sin, so that I will not experience the wages of sin… as this passage illustrates.

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