You're Not Listening!
Eternal God, You are my relentless Judge and gracious Redeemer. Challenge me to grow as I read Your Word now.
Read JEREMIAH 13:1-27
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.
The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.
Observe how many times in today’s passage the word “listen” or something similar is used. In older Bible versions the words used were “hear, hearken, obey.” These words occur nearly one thousand times in the Old Testament. The opposite is not “to be deaf” (as if the problem was in one’s hearing!), but stubbornness (10), arrogance (15), forgetfulness (25). Unlike idols, the Lord is a God who speaks, and our privilege and our responsibility is to listen to his voice. We are to stick as closely to the Lord as a linen waistcloth (1-11; not a “belt”)—the word used in v. 11 is used in modern Hebrew for “glue.” We are “to be an ingredient in the divine happiness” (C.S. Lewis) to live for God’s “renown, praise and honor” (11). May the beauty of the Lord be seen in my life, in all I am and do and say; may my life be inexplicable apart from God.
Let your imagination play over the startling pictures in this chapter: the ruined waistcloth; the drunks smashing into one another; people stumbling into the darkening hills; lost sheep; the pains of labor; driven chaff; torn and raised skirts; the leopard’s spots. Alexander Solzhenitsyn, in his 1983 address when awarded the Templeton Prize, said that the principal trait of the twentieth century was, “Men have forgotten God.” Jeremiah saw his own people, from the top of society to the bottom of the country (the cities of the Negev, in the southern desert), as experts in evil! Pray for your own society, your own nation. There is a time to raise our voices and a time to weep secretly (17). Pray for discernment to know your time, your task. The chapter ends (27), stretching out towards an uncertain future: “How long will you be unclean?”
Ask God to show you clearly when and how you can most effectively speak out on his behalf. Examine your conscience for any unrepented sin.
Gracious Lord, I’m grateful that You see what I’ve been, You know what I am, and You see what I will become. I want Your future for me.
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