Wednesday, February 20, 2013

the carnage of faithlessness

And I have this day declared it to you, but you have not obeyed the voice of the LORD your God in anything that he sent me to tell you. Now therefore know for a certainty that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place where you desire to go to live.
Jeremiah 42:21-22

God knew the rebel hearts of the remnant still left in Judah. After Ishmael's revolt the remnant debated fleeing to Egypt. What seemed to be a sincere request came to Jeremiah: "Inquire of The Lord what we should do, and we will obey it." So the prophet sought God on the matter.

The message that God gave to the people was unchanged from past prophecies. They were to stay in Judah under Babylonian administration and God would keep them secure and safe. This was Jeremiah's message all along. But it was not at all what the people wanted to hear. They were very afraid of retaliation on all of them for Ishmael's murderous revolt. And Egypt seemed to be the logical place to which to flee. Yet God kept warning them that the real catastrophe would come if they fled there.

Why is it that our schemes seem so much more comforting than God's Word? It could be that our selfish autonomy over glamorizes our own thoughts and intentions. It is also the strong influence of our own will that blinds us to the options of faith in God. We are, after all, fallen sinners whose myopic views of self importance keep us from seeing the wisdom of God's ways. Humans have an inherited spiritual tunnel vision. It is not good to trust our limited perspective. But we do it all the time.

God kept asking His people to trust Him. And they kept looking for any other option. But faith rejects the present alternatives so close to us for the power of the undiscovered promise of God. It is adventure! And that is why faith is rewarded by God. It is why faith pleases Him. It is the means of relationship with God. And it counteracts our limited human vision with a greater hope and experience than we can possibly know from our naturalistic viewpoint.

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