“Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise” (Jer. 17:14).
Read JEREMIAH 17:1-27
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Holiness is not to have Jesus and do whatever you want. Holiness is to love Jesus and do what he wants” (C. Peter Wagner).
ake note of what the chapter says about the human heart, my heart. On what is my heart fixed? With what convictions does it burn? In Hebrew thought the heart is the coordinating center of the person. How do the reflections of this chapter prepare the ground for Jeremiah’s great promise about the heart in 31:33? Suppose that I wished for a few words to be engraved upon my heart with a flint point (as on a memorial stone, perhaps). What words would I want to be written there, as a summary of all that I live by and for, all that I want to be remembered for?
Jeremiah’s struggle between praise and lament continues in vs. 12-18. He hangs on to the hope of Israel, hoping that he truly reigns, knowing that he is the living spring—but his persecutors and his own fears also torment him. “Double destruction” in v. 18 may just mean “matching, equivalent, a punishment to fit the crime.” These words are, in effect, a prayer for God to do what he has already said that he will do (16:18). The pleas and laments hang in the air. There is no reply—silence. Will there be justice?
Does the paragraph about the Sabbath—and especially (four times) the sentence about “not carrying a load,” seem like an anticlimax? Is this because we have lost our sense of a day in the week that is specially holy, dedicated to the Lord, a symbol of trust in him and fidelity to his law? The Sabbath is also a sign that we trust in God’s rule, not in destructive self-reliance. Our challenge is to honor the Lord’s day without “flooding it with the mundane or freezing it with the forbidden” (Derek Kidner).
Reflect on your own observance of Sabbath principle. How do you honor the Lord’s day so as to keep it special? Are any changes necessary?
Gracious Heavenly Father, in distress be my comfort; in temptation be my stay and guide; in the storms of life be my hope. I praise You for Your amazing care.
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