Monday, January 14, 2013

a willfulness worse than idolatry

then you shall say to them: 'Because your fathers have forsaken me, declares the LORD, and have gone after other gods and have served and worshiped them, and have forsaken me and have not kept my law, and because you have done worse than your fathers, for behold, every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me.
Jeremiah 16:11-12

The Lord gives two reasons for the impending captivity coming to His people. The first reason is tied to the unfaithfulness and idolatry of previous generations. The Jews have had a generational history of forsaking God and chasing after the worship of idols. And this had gotten progressively worse, culminating in the present generation of which Jeremiah was a part.

The second reason had to do with Jeremiah's contemporaries. God saw the sins of that group as worse than the blatant idolatry of their fathers. Every person was bound up in a stubborn life of self pursuits. Their own evil wills refused God even as He spoke to them of the coming judgment and their personal guilt and sin. Judah had become a society where the autonomy of each person led them to apathy about God, refusing to listen to God any longer as He spoke to them through the Law and His prophets.

Any time individual human autonomy is valued over God's gracious and sovereign rule, disaster will ultimately result. Humans cannot achieve utopia. This is not because God hates human beings or does not value them, but rather because humans will not value God. They refuse to accept Him willingly. But He will still rule. Ultimate individual willfulness will break everything down to nothing. It is anarchy of a spiritual origin. That is why God warned them what was coming. It was inevitable. They had brought it on themselves by valuing themselves above all else. I believe that we can only know peaceful lives and understand the real meaning and destiny of humanity in the light of knowing God truly.

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