SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- These two chapters focus on God declaring the absurdity of worshiping “idols” (false gods) and the coming destruction of Israel because of their sins.
- The people of Israel acted as fools by putting their trust in a chunk of wood that was carved beautifully but remains unable to move, speak, or act.
- God repeats that He has given the people of Israel instruction on how to live since He brought their ancestors out of slavery in Egypt. Because the Israelites have refused to listen for generations and broke the “covenant” (which is a two-sided promise) with Him, they aroused God’s anger and God vowed to destroy the people of Israel and their land.
- Chapter 11 ends with Jeremiah learning from God that the people of his hometown, Anathoth, were plotting to kill him. Jeremiah responded by calling to God and God answered him.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Most people would like to know the future. The Israelites tried to gain knowledge of the future by putting their faith in wood, metal, and the stars instead of trusting the one true God who actually made each of those creations.
- God loves His people dearly and showed restraint and patience throughout the ages as the Israelites continued to turn away from Him, forgetting how God freed them from slavery and gave them the knowledge they needed to live a peaceful life. Over the generations, God gave them reminders, teachers, and prophets to help them turn back to God and still the people of Israel tried to do it their own way.
- God’s anger is never unjustified. He commanded His people to follow the rules He set before them in order to lead them into a fulfilled life and after He offered them multiple chances to ask for forgiveness for straying, His anger was ignited by their continued refusal to turn back to Him.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- Where do you place your faith? In what or whom do you place your trust? Do you look to your family and friends for security? Do you find your worth in your job or your bank account? God’s ability to direct our lives is far superior to our own ability. Sometimes we are afraid of God’s power and plans for us. Don’t be afraid to let God correct your plans. Today, pray to God and ask Him to give you wisdom to know Him and to trust Him to lead you the right way.