Jeremiah 4-6

Daily Reading

Jeremiah 4-6

Daily Thought

The one who created us owes no explanation, but gives one anyway, and repeated warnings, along with every opportunity to repent, and that is the role of the prophet. A thankless job, Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet because his words are dreadful, “My anguish, my anguish! I writhe in pain! Oh the walls of my heart! My heart is beating wildly; I cannot keep silent, for I hear the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war” (Jeremiah 4:19).

Abraham’s attempt to rescue Sodom from judgment began with, “Suppose there are fifty righteous within the city” (Genesis 18:24). Then forty-five, then forty, thirty, twenty, and, at last, ten. For ten righteous people, God would lift his hand of judgment. Jeremiah need only find one in Judah: “Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem, look and take note! Search her squares to see if you can find a man, one who does justice and seeks truth, that I may pardon her” (Jeremiah 5:1).

Jeremiah found none. God’s judgment is just, and turns creation on its head: “I looked on the earth, and behold, it was without form and void;
     and to the heavens, and they had no light.
I looked on the mountains, and behold, they were quaking,
    and all the hills moved to and fro.
I looked, and behold, there was no man,
    and all the birds of the air had fled.
I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a desert,
    and all its cities were laid in ruins
    before the Lord, before his fierce anger” (Jeremiah 4:23-26). 

Nevertheless, the job of a prophet is not ultimately to pronounce doom, but hope, “to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” (Jeremiah 1:9-10). Out of destruction shall come deliverance, “for thus says the Lord, ‘The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end’” (Jeremiah 4:27).

Always hope.

Daily Prayer

My God, You are love, bearing all things, enduring to the end. I think I put Your patience to the test, and yet Your grace perseveres. I deserve what I should get, but You took what I deserve and gave me life, a life eternally wonderful. Thank You.

The life You give me I return to You to be used as You direct. I want to be part of good news to the world. May I live daily grateful to You, gracious to others.

Amen

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