Joyska's Journal: the weeping prophet

Sunday, July 25, 2010

the weeping prophet

Yes, I am reading Jeremiah. Amazing how many times God tells him directly : DO NOT pray for this nation, I will not hear your prayers. At one point God even says, even if Moses and Elijah (or was it Abraham... have to look that up again) pleaded for the people of Israel, He would not relent.

Why is God so angry? He says it over and over again: It is because Israel and Judah have abandoned Him, turned their backs and worshiped worthless idols. They have sacrificed their children to fire, and have refused to obey His laws. His judgement on them is sending them into exile in Babylon under Nebuchanezar. The amazing thing though is that in His anger there is mercy... He tells them, if you surrender to Babylon, you will live, some of you will even be able to stay and farm your land... and in 70 years return to your homeland. But if you don't surrender... you will be killed.

So why is Jeremiah called the weeping prophet? Repeatedly through the book he cries out to God for mercy, and he weeps when God refuses to relent.

Why is Israel and Judah so stubborn? Because they are being led by FALSE prophets and teachers of the Law. Jeremiah is warning them of the judgement to come, and the false prophets try to kill him and call him a traitor for speaking out against Jerusalem. The false prophets are claiming that God (within two years no less) will break the yoke of Babylon and there will be peace and safety.

So Jeremiah weeps.

My question as I sat down to read Jeremiah over the last couple of days has been, "What does this all have to do with me in 2010?" I know that there are some end time prophesies mixed in with the prophesies of the coming judgement and those are relevant and important, but what is God wanting to say to me???

I think I got the answer to that today. Jeremiah was countercultural. He went against every norm and cultural standard of the day. He spoke judgement when everyone else spoke peace and safety... He like Isaiah who wandered the wilderness nude for three years, did some unusual things, like wore a yoke around his neck to symbolize the yoke of Babylon and the captivity the people were going into.

At one point, and I love this, Jeremiah kind of gets angry at God and says "you tricked me into this," you made me a prophet whose only message is doom and destruction, but even as he tried to stay silent and just let the people do what they were going to do regardless of his warnings from the Lord, "it was like a fire in his bones" He HAD to speak up... HE HAD TO WARN ISRAEL AND JUDAH, hoping against all hope that they would turn and that God would then relent and save His chosen people.

Jeremiah (the book) shows AGAIN, God's justice, His unfailing love, His unfailing promises, and His desire for His people. He promises to raise up a deliverer, He promises to return them to Jerusalem.... but not until they turn to Him out of love and repentance.... His unfailing patience.
I'm learning (or being reminded) that God is constant... He never changes. That brings incredible comfort to me as my whole world changes again tomorrow.

I go back to work... in a new place, but back to work. It's been awhile and I'm nervous, scared, excited and terrified all at once. Someone likened it to bungee jumping... you have every belief that the cord will hold you, but it is still a jump of faith. God is my constant today, tomorrow, forever. What I don't want, is to loose my connection with Him, my pursuit of Him, because of busyness and other priorities. My prayer is that God would grant me a similar heart to Jeremiah... one that will stand up for what God is saying and not back down... where ever he is and in whatever way God asks of Him. As God is constant, I want to be steady... remaining in His word and proclaiming His truth.

"whether in the prayer room or behind a desk" my desire is to bring Glory to the Lord.
Joyska at 7:34 PM


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