Prayer Focus:Latvia

Bible Reading: Jeremiah 13-16

Scripture:

Do people make their own gods?
Yes, but they are not gods!”

“Therefore I will teach them—
this time I will teach them
my power and might.
Then they will know
that my name is the Lord.

(Jeremiah 16:20-21)

Observation:

A prophet’s calling was to speak words of the Lord.  Among them, Jeremiah is referred to as the weeping prophet, because God was mourning over his people.  The Israelites had turned their back on Him.  They worshiped hand-crafted idols and, through the influence of their king Manasseh, performed despicable acts in the temple – yes, that’s right – IN THE TEMPLE.  God’s anger burned because of what his people were doing.  He had held his wrath a time or two for an upright king like Josiah or Hezekiah.  Finally, the time had come.

 

Sometimes we wonder, “What does God hope to accomplish by unleashing His wrath?”  In today’s passage, we get a glimmer of understanding.  His anger doesn’t flare as an uncontrolled tantrum.  Instead, it burns with a Holy purpose.  Although the effects of His wrath were awful, it served to draw them back to Himself.  He needed to break them and their bondage to sin, so they could again be followers of the one living God.

Application:

The Israel nation didn’t fall into idol worship over night.  How did they arrive at this awful place?  Did they slip by degrees, like the proverbial “frog in a kettle?”  Is it possible they took offense at anyone telling them what to do or how to live?  Did they claim those who were holding to a standard were intolerant?

 

How can we, as a people of God, learn from their mistakes?

Prayer:

Lord, help me have my eyes open.  Help me see the places where I let myself compromise to the world.  Amen.

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