Scripture: Jeremiah 2:18-30
“They turn their backs on me, but in times of trouble they cry out to me, ‘Come and save us!’ But why not call on these gods you have made? When trouble comes, let them save you if they can!” (Jeremiah 2:27b, 28a, NLT).
Because of their moral corruptness, the ancient Israelites refused the prophets’ warnings to repent and to obey the Lord. Instead they continued in their worship of other nations’ false gods. God alone had the power to rescue them from the coming clash with the Babylonians. Yet they persisted in their worship of other gods excusing it with, “I’m in love . . . I can’t stop” (v.25). Instead of seeking God’s help, they made alliances with two of their former enemies, Egypt and Assyria, who themselves were under threat of Babylonian invasion (v.18).
Perhaps all sin is replacing God in our lives with something we feel will bring us what we want while pursuing the lifestyle we have chosen. Following Christ is not a quick fix. Prayer is not a last minute “punt” to rescue the game. The blessing of God comes from pursuing a life yielded to him which leads us away from the dangers inherent in pursuing selfishness. Through his death and resurrection, Christ has broken the chains of sin’s slavery (v.20). Yet if we refuse to go his way, we will find to our shame what an “evil, bitter thing it is to abandon the Lord” (v.19). What is pursued in the place of God is not capable of saving us (v.27,28). The distance our rebellion has created renders us unable to seek Truth and pursue it (v.29,30).
Father, thank you for breaking sin’s yoke of slavery. Thank you for your Spirit who guides me into truth and away from the danger of selfish living. Make me aware of anything I am pursuing that is not you. Forgive me for the times I have not honored you as God by rebelling against your leading. Cleanse me from my sin, and renew my desire to follow your Son. In whose name I pray, Amen.