Following God; February 11, 2018

Jeremiah 5:30-31 “A horrible and shocking thing
has happened in the land:
The prophets prophesy lies,
the priests rule by their own authority,
and my people love it this way.
But what will you do in the end?”

This passage was chosen for the theme of “God’s Provision” on the basis of verse 25, which talks about our sins blocking God’s provision, but this really stands out to me as I read it just now. Political government is always going to be less than perfect, but we should be able to count on Church leaders to seek God’s truth and proclaim it. When that is not the case, the nation is certainly in trouble. The biggest problem comes when the people in the pews don’t notice, or even applaud deviant leaders. It isn’t often that God asks rhetorical questions like He does here: “But what will you do in the end?” I am interested to see that the Japanese translates that exactly the same way, so there’s no question of the meaning. As comes out again and again throughout the Bible, our choices and actions have consequences, and sometimes those aren’t desirable at all. We are brought back to God’s famous statement to Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” In America, the political travesty of the previous administration, that has recently been starting to be exposed, has served to wake up a sizable percentage of the population to the reality that things were not as they should be, but the problems didn’t originate in the political realm. The Church has veered off course, and not just in America, because people in the pews have gone for politically correct platitudes, instead of standing on and insisting on the Word of God. However, one of the best parts of the Gospel, what makes it really Good News, is that repentance is possible, and brings forgiveness. If, as God told Solomon, we seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, then He will indeed heal our land, and that will be very good indeed.

I certainly have to examine myself on this issue. After all, I am in church leadership myself! I must be very careful to proclaim “The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth,” as they say in a court of law. I am not to go off on my own in any way, but steep myself in the Bible and even then ask God at every turn. I am not to draw back from what God directs, no matter how difficult the path may seem to me. After all, He is the one who controls the outcome, so my job is simply to trust and obey.

Father, I didn’t expect this Word this morning. Help me indeed not draw back from anything You direct, fearing You alone, and neither the opinions of men nor my own weaknesses. Help me hear accurately what You are saying, proclaim it faithfully, and obey You fully, so that Your will may be done on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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