Today's reading in our daily plan is Jeremiah 9. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.
SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- The opening of this passage is Jeremiah continuing to mourn for his people, the Israelites. The Lord lists some of their sins such as lying, injustice, taking advantage of others, and holding ill-will in their hearts.
- God declares that because the people of Israel abandoned God and refused to obey, He will destroy the nation of Israel and “scatter them around the world…until I have destroyed them completely” (see verse 16).
- In verse 25, God declares that He “will punish all those who are circumcised in body but not in spirit.” Circumcision was a symbol of the covenant relationship the Israelites had with God since the time of Abraham (see Genesis 17:9-14). However, like the previous chapters of Jeremiah have said, the people of Israel had forgotten the spiritual significance of circumcision even though they continued to perform the physical ritual.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- God’s character is shown through the actions that bring Him delight: kindness, justice, and righteousness. The people of Israel were living life following the opposite principles. God had spent generations instructing the Israelites on how to live and offered them multitudes of chances to repent for their wrong actions and return to obeying God.
- We have seen throughout the last few chapters of Jeremiah, and previously in Isaiah as well, that God does not accept sacrifices and offerings that are not genuinely heart-felt. God does not need anything from us, He created offerings and rituals as a way for us to recognize our sin and to refocus on living for God. He desires for us to want to come to Him with understanding of His majesty and the love He has for us.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- People tend to admire three things about others: wisdom, power, and riches. But God puts a higher priority on knowing Him personally and living a life that reflects His justice, righteousness, and love. What do you want people to admire most about you?
- Maybe ask a friend to be honest and tell you one thing they admire about you, and one area you could improve in. Then ask God to build you up in both of those areas.