[originally posted by Karen Dixon on 13 November 2015]
Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 42 & 1 Corinthians 2
Have you ever struggled with the answer to a response when in asking the question, you firmly believe you would be happy with the outcome … irrespective of whether it was what you wanted to hear?
Well, nothing has changed.
In reality, life is no different for us today than what it was for our ancestors … or for those who lived in the period of time we find ourselves in with Jeremiah in the lead up to the restoration of the remnant back into a time of peace with God.
‘May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us. Whether it is favourable or unfavourable we will obey the Lord our God to whom we are sending you, so that it will go well with us, for we will obey the Lord our God.’ Jeremiah 42:5-6
When God’s people, those in exile, stood at the cross roads of heading back to Egypt and appealed to Jeremiah for him to seek God’s directive on whether they should stay or go, one could assume that finally, yes finally there was unity in a desire to turn back to a God.
We might consider 10 days a short period of time given what had transpired over many years for the people of God, but in reality, 10 days is a long time when you’re standing at the cross roads of a major decision.
This is not about having to read between the lines or even struggle with interpretation to understand that God’s response is a faith response …. and the answer …
Sorry, I know I said that irrespective of the outcome I would obey, but ….
But didn’t you have ears to hear?
Don’t you feel the frustration of Jeremiah who has been such a faithful prophet against adversity for so long, who finally is able to deliver a simple and what has been such a simple and basic message for so long from God? Yes, obedience results in blessing; disobedience results in punishment.
Again, if God’s people are willing to listen and go against every inclination that says don’t flee to Egypt (where you think life will be easy) but rather remain in the land and have faith in God and He WILL be as good as His word … as He has so faithfully been and always will …
Maybe like me the familiar words in the earlier chapters of Jeremiah are ringing in your ears.
“For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
The personal take home from today … choice …
We will never know what lies ahead BUT in the same way Paul encouraged the Corinthians from the word of the ancients, join me in holding firm to the truth that ‘No eye has seen, so ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those how love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9
Amen and Amen ….