Nervous? Afraid? Then do the Unthinkable..Be BOLD

(Today's post by Joshua Jones)

Jeremiah 2:1-3:5

How would you feel if God called you to be His voice to a rebellious people? Afraid? Nervous? Bold? Imagine how Jeremiah must have felt as we pick up in this chapter, with the prophet speaking to the people of Jerusalem.

As I read through this section of Scripture, I found myself appalled at the people of Jerusalem for turning away from God. Empowered by God, Jeremiah lays out a horrible picture of the spiritual state of the nation of Israel, expressing their rebellion from God in vivid imagery. Jeremiah portrays the nation of Israel, God’s chosen people as many things in this chapter: a broken cistern that couldn’t hold water that was chosen over a fresh spring, a plundered slave to other nations, a stubborn animal, a thief who had been caught in the act, etc. All of these pictures show the state of God’s people at this time. In verse 27-28, Jeremiah says:

“They say to wood, ‘You are my father,’
and to stone, ‘You gave me birth.’
They have turned their backs to me
and not their faces;
yet when they are in trouble, they say,
‘Come and save us!’
Where then are the gods you made for yourselves?
Let them come if they can save you
when you are in trouble!
For you, Judah, have as many gods
as you have towns.”

The chosen nation of God had turned away from their creator. They worshipped other gods and turned away from the teachings that had been passed down to them. Only when they were in trouble would they come back, begging and pleading for the True God to save them. And it wasn’t even the first time that this had happened! Throughout the history of the nation of Israel, they just couldn’t get it right. Continuously, they would get distracted with false gods, and turn away from the God who they were created to glorify.

In one of the most vivid pictures that Jeremiah paints in this section, he describes the Israelites as an unfaithful wife:

If a man divorces his wife
and she leaves him and marries another man,
should he return to her again?
Would not the land be completely defiled?
But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers—
would you now return to me?”
declares the Lord.

However, as unfaithful as his people were to Him, God had a plan. He would not turn his back on his people, he would ultimately fulfill his promise to his people to provide a Savior. Even as we live in the times after this Savior- Jesus Christ- has come and revealed God’s plan, and as we are waiting on him to come again, these words still hit a tender area. I know that I continually have turned away from God. I know that I am continuously distracted with the things of this world. If there was a book written about my life, and the amounts of times that I have ignored God’s Word, it wouldn't fit on a bookshelf. I am that prostitute, that broken cistern, that thief caught in the act. That is me. However, God seeks his people out and provides forgiveness for sin. He doesn’t turn his back on us when we turn our back on him. And that is worth more than anything in this world.

Now, let’s think back to Jeremiah, and how he must have felt carrying this message. Nervous? Yeah. Afraid? Definitely. But God sent him with a message, so Jeremiah also felt BOLD. He had a message of hope for his people. And we have a message of even greater hope for the world. Now that Christ has come, we have a message of hope for the lost, the sinners, the rebels and the outcasts. And we have been empowered with the Holy Spirit to BOLDLY take that message to the world. So, just as Jeremiah, let’s go. Let’s take that message to who needs it, discomfort aside, equipped with boldness.
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