Scripture: Jeremiah 5:20-31
“Have you no respect for me? Why don’t you tremble in my presence? I, the Lord, define the ocean’s sandy shoreline as an everlasting boundary that the waters cannot cross. The waves may toss and roar, but they can never pass the boundaries I set” (Jeremiah 5:22, NLT).
Jeremiah’s audience are foolish; they deny God exists and cares (v.21). They are senseless; they do not reason correctly that God who created and tames the sea has set boundaries which should not be crossed (v.22). They have abandoned God and so deprived themselves of blessings (v.23-24). Yet they do not perceive the lack (v.25). They have adopted the lies of false prophets as beliefs. Like their priests, they like using this deceitful system to gain power and wealth (v.31). They prey upon the innocent, fatherless, and poor to gain their desires (v.26-28). Although they recognize no limit to their evil (v.28), God has passed judgment against them and will not relent (v.29).
God’s power can bring comfort. Knowing God is in control and will bring an end to evil sets my mind at rest. In the difficult times of my life, I can trust that his way is best, even when I cannot understand, because all options are open to him. Yet I also need to allow God’s power to check the rebellious impulse to go my own way. Failure to acknowledge his sovereignty results in empty, false religion ending in societal collapse and estrangement from God. I dare not misconstrue God’s patience with my selfishness as approval. Religious pretense to justify sin is folly. God’s judgment of sin is as real as the boundaries he has enforced upon the ocean.
Father, Creator of all that is seen and unseen, teach me to respect you. Thank you for the boundaries you assign to all that you have made. Keep me within those boundaries, and guide me into truth. Strip me of pretense. May the worship that I offer honor you as God alone. Forgive my rebellious ways, and keep my eyes fixed on your Son, the author and finisher of faith. In whose name I pray, Amen.