Scripture: Jeremiah 4:19-31
“What are you doing, you who have been plundered? Why do you dress up in beautiful clothing and put on gold jewelry? Why do you brighten your eyes with mascara? Your primping will do you no good! The allies who were your lovers despise you and seek to kill you” (Jeremiah 4:30, NLT).
The ancient Israelites displayed no understanding that their sin was bringing about their destruction. They had become “clever enough at doing wrong” and had “no idea how to do right” (v.22). They foolishly trusted their allies rather than God to help them. Their worship rituals were only cosmetic (v.30). They gave the impression of righteousness, but they lacked true obedience and repentance. Jeremiah foresaw their utter destruction, a destruction so vast it would seem as if their world had returned to its empty Genesis state (v.23-26). He experiences great pain (v.19), grieving their failure to return to God and receive his mercy.
I must submit to the Holy Spirit and allow him to purge me of my sinful nature. I cannot make up for my selfishness with “random acts of kindness.” I cannot hide my sin with church going, Bible reading, and prayer reciting. While appearances may matter to people, God “looks at the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). Sin cannot be covered up. Christ’s blood alone can remove sin (Romans 3:25-26). God declares us right by our faith in Jesus expressed through true love for others, hatred of our sin, and our hold on what is good (Romans 12:9).
Father, thank you for saving me from utter destruction by the death of your Son. Keep me grounded in faith. Forgive my feeble attempts to cover over my sin. Purge me of my sinful nature. Create in me a clean heart filled with your love for others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.