SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Today’s passage has three parts. The first section (see verses 1-4) is Jeremiah asking God why there doesn’t appear to be any consequences for the wicked people: they are content and successful even though they do not have God in their hearts. Jeremiah tells of his impatience and wanted God’s justice to come quickly.
- In verse 5-13, the second part, God responds to Jeremiah’s questions by basically saying “If you think this is bad, how are you going to cope when it gets really tough?” and shares imagery of the pain they have caused God and the anger they have aroused.
- The final part in verses 14-17 is God delivering a message for all of the nations, not just Israel. Any nation that chooses to love and follow God will be placed among His people. Any nation that turns their back on God will also be destroyed just like Israel.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- God chose the people of Israel to demonstrate His care for the world. The nation of Israel was given much; therefore much was required of her. Although Israel repeatedly failed, God’s love extends to reach every square inch of the world. The fate of other nations depended on their willingness to demonstrate faith in God whether or not God’s chosen people accomplished their task of witnessing.
- God’s answers to prayer are not always nice or easy to handle. When Jeremiah cried out to God for relief, Jeremiah was reminded that he was to remain committed to God even when the going gets tough and when his prayers for relief were not immediately answered.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- It is natural for us to demand fair play and cry for justice against those who take advantage of others. But when we call for justice, we must realize that we ourselves would be in big trouble if God gave each of us what we truly deserve. Today, think of a time when you did not face consequences you deserved. Pray to God and thank Him for the grace He has delivered in your life.
- Do you have faith in God even when times are rough? God’s timeline does not always match our own but He calls us to be committed to Him even when we do not get immediate answers to our prayers. Are you feeling stuck in a bad situation? Do you feel like you are a captive of your past? Check out Restore, a recovery program that is a come-as-you-are, safe place for everyone on Tuesday nights at Verve. There is absolutely nothing too big or too small to be a part of the Restore community and you will find a diverse ministry with people who show up and journey together towards recovery.