Titus 2; Jeremiah 15-16; Psalm 126
Jeremiah was a prophet with a tough job. His job was to be God’s spokesman to a people that were about to undergo catastrophic loss. Israel was about to be destroyed as a nation, overrun by the Babylonians, and scattered around the Babylonian Empire. Jeremiah had the duty to tell the nation that this disaster was coming. The only hope in the message was that someday, in the far future, their descendants would return.
Jeremiah suffered because of that. People who didn’t want to hear the message of their own doom abused him. He was imprisoned and abandoned. Still, God protected him. As Jeremiah called for God’s protection, he got this answer from God. “Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.’” (Jeremiah 15:19)
God had strong words for His prophet. Perhaps he had strayed from God’s message in some small way. Perhaps he had tried to fit in with the people to avoid the continuous attacks against him. God warned him to repent and say worthwhile things. This last phrase, however is what really struck me today: “let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them.”
As followers of Christ we live in an age where it seems like we no longer want to make a difference in this world, we want to get along with this world. We shy back from the truth for fear of offending others. We should, of course, not seek to be offensive. The truth is, though, that God’s word is offensive to all of us at times. It calls us back from our sinful ways that we so enjoy. His word calls us to repent, just as it did to that spiritual giant, Jeremiah. We are called to turn to God, and then our lives should lead people to turn to us. We are not to turn away from God to follow others. All I can say is “God help us” because it’s a lot easier said than done.
God, we call on You to help us. Help us repent and turn to You. Make us witnesses and examples of Your love and grace. Help us not to be tempted by the things this world offers – rather let us turn to You in all things.