Psalm 36:5-10 (We feast on the abundance of God’s house); Jeremiah 4:1-4 (A call to repentance); Luke 11:14-23 (Looking for signs from heaven)
Jeremiah has a reputation as a prophet of doom. He spoke for God during the end of the days of Judah, as the last remnant of the old kingdom of Israel was being conquered. As I read these passages in Jeremiah, though, I am amazed at the hope that God still offers through him. The message of Jeremiah in today’s passage is a message of blessing and honor, if the people of Judah would just repent. If they would just turn back to God, He would bless them so the whole world would see.
Yet, they refused to repent. They attacked Jeremiah for speaking God’s word. After the return from captivity, they attacked Jesus for being and doing the word of God. When Jesus cast out a demon, they accused Him of being in league with the devil. The end of that passage has some ominous words. “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” Just as Jeremiah called on people to return to the God of Israel, the words of Jesus call us back to a commitment to Him. Are we with Him, or against Him? There is no middle ground. There is no observer status where we can sit on the sideline and wait to see who might win the battle. Jesus continues to call us to come out of the ways of the world and join Him. He gives us the power we need to live with Him each and every day. Today this call is still active: will you choose to follow God or will you choose to work against Him?
Oh Lord, I wish I could sit on the sidelines of life and watch as a disinterested spectator. Yet you remind us that we are called to choose. There are no sidelines because the battlefield is all around us. Help me to choose to follow You. Let my life draw others to You in the battle between good and evil.