Day 62: God Takes Jeremiah’s Side

Jeremiah 12:5-13

“If you have run with the footmen,
and they have wearied you,
then how can you contend with horses?
Though in a land of peace you are secure,
yet how will you do in the pride of the Jordan?
For even your brothers, and the house of your father,
even they have dealt treacherously with you!
Even they have cried aloud after you!
Don’t believe them,
though they speak beautiful words to you.

“I have forsaken my house.
I have cast off my heritage.
I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.
My heritage has become to me as a lion in the forest.
She has uttered her voice against me.
Therefore I have hated her.
Is my heritage to me as a speckled bird of prey?
Are the birds of prey against her all around?
Go, assemble all the animals of the field.
Bring them to devour.
Many shepherds have destroyed my vineyard.
They have trodden my portion under foot.
They have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
They have made it a desolation.
It mourns to me, being desolate.
The whole land is made desolate,
because no one cares.
Destroyers have come on all the bare heights in the wilderness;
for the sword of Yahweh devours from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land.
No flesh has peace.
They have sown wheat,
and have reaped thorns.
They have exhausted themselves,
and profit nothing.
You will be ashamed of your fruits,
because of Yahweh’s fierce anger.”

It obviously doesn’t matter whether or not you are a majority if God decides to be on your side. It’s fascinating to me but it appears that what we have here is God agreeing with the horrible position the Jeremiah finds himself in. He appears to be saying that if you are being overpowered by common soldiers, how will you be able to deal with the more advanced weapons when they are leveled against you? He appears to be talking about Jeremiah’s family compared to those in Judah who weren’t in his family. Even Jeremiah’s own family was against him but they were talking to him as if they were being nice. This really made God angry and He goes on describing the great horror that He was going to bring on them and all of Judah.

I believe that God wants us to realize that when we suffer, He really suffers with us. When we represent him and we are persecuted, God is also being persecuted. He takes it personally and the difference is, He has all the power to do something about it. God is not aloof when it comes to our suffering. He is participating and here we read He even comments about it. He may use it as a reason for His acts of wrath against those who do evil. We see this in Jesus’ words to Saul when he was blinded on the road to Damascus.

Acts 9:4-6

He fell on the earth, and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

He said, “Who are you, Lord?”

The Lord said, “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise up, and enter into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

Remember, Saul was persecuting Christians. He wasn’t persecuting Jesus directly, but Jesus took it personally. It appears to me that God did the same thing with Jeremiah, and it just made things worse for Judah. They made God more willing to bring wrath on them by how they treated the prophets. We can be sure that when we feel pain, God does too. When we are sad, so is He. He may even be making comments about it like He did here to Jeremiah. When that happens, it doesn’t matter if you are the only one doing right on the earth. Only those on God’s side are going to win.

Day 23: God’s House

John 2:12-17 : After this, he went down to Capernaum, he, and his mother, his brothers, and his disciples; and they stayed there a few days. The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. He found in the temple those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, and the changers of money sitting. He made a whip of cords, and threw all out of the temple, both the sheep and the oxen; and he poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew their tables. To those who sold the doves, he said, “Take these things out of here! Don’t make my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will eat me up.”

The Passover celebrates God’s delivery of Israel from Egyptian slavery. It is also a representation of the Lamb of God that would take away sin, because by the blood of a lamb, the houses of the Jews were passed over by the angel of death which took the lives of all of the first born children of Egypt.

It was required at that time for Jews to make sacrifices, so the animals were being sold in the temple. This obviously troubled Jesus enough to take extreme action. This is one of the notable acts of Jesus that was far from being “meek and mild.”

If the temple is full of marketing, how can a person get to see God? How horrible to think that anything would get in between God and man when man needs God so much.

God should be the main event of the temple. God does not allow competition for our attention. Yes, the Bible does say that God is jealous for our love. He is not jealous of you, but for you. This means he doesn’t want anything to compete with Him for your attention. God knows that there is nothing better for you than to keep your attention on Him. Most of us have had to learn this the hard way.

When the house of God has marketing going on inside of it, it distracts you from giving God the attention He deserves. Does this apply to our churches? I honestly don’t think the Bible is saying that at all. The temple is where God’s presence is. The temple is not your church building. If you are a believer in Jesus, the temple is your body:

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 : Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

What would it mean to have our temple become a market place? Perhaps it is when we allow things in this world to fill our minds instead of God. Perhaps it is when we don’t present ourselves as those who have God in ourselves. Here are some questions to ponder: “What about you is more amazing than the fact that God lives in you? When people come to visit you, what do they come to see?” God really is more amazing that anything else and being one that has God living inside is to be one whose most important quality is God’s presence. The church building is not the temple, but we are as believers, and we should encourage each other to keep ourselves true to God and not allow the world to corrupt us.