Daily Readings & Thought for July 20th. “CORRECT ME O LORD, BUT … NOT IN YOUR ANGER”
Our chapter 10 in Jeremiah starts with a challenging message – just as appropriate for today as it was then. The nation had become totally godless – and we see many comparisons in the messages Jeremiah is caused to give them – with God’s message for today. ” Hear the word that the LORD speaks …. “Learn not the way of the nations, nor be dismayed at the signs of the heavens because the nations are dismayed at them…” [v.1] And we see how the people are increasingly dismayed at their rulers/governments (political heavens) as the financial crisis deepens.
Jeremiah is told, “for the customs of the peoples are vanity.” [v.3] The ways of living all around us today “are vanity” – there is no thought of there being a Creator at all. Jeremiah is told, ” Thus shall you say to them: “The gods who did not make the heavens and the earth shall perish …” [v.11] Yes, ‘gods’ with a little ‘g‘ – especially the gadgets that occupy so many human minds! In the next verse we read of the only real God, “who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.” And clever men have now discovered how endlessly “the heavens” have been “stretched out.”
The next words of God tell us that “When he utters his voice, there is a tumult …” – and what kind of “tumult” awaits our godless world today!? Truly, it is just as it was in the days of Jeremiah, “Every man is stupid and without knowledge …” [v.14] That is, true, godly knowledge! They are unaware there is a Creator they should be in awe of – and worship. Are we fully aware? Do we show this every day by how we think and live?
Jeremiah responds to the Creators’ words, with words we too can use! “I know, O LORD, that the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps. Correct me, O LORD, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.” [v.23,24] May we say the same and heed any correction the word of God contains that we see as applying to us, especially as we are in awe of Jeremiah’s next and final words in this chapter! Dare we make them our prayer too? ” Pour out your wrath on the nations that know you not, and on the peoples that call not on your name…” And – Jeremiah witnessed the awesome end of his nation, they did “not call” on God’s “name.” What will we witness?