Thus says the LORD:
This is what I commanded my people:
Listen to my voice;
then I will be your God and you shall be my people.
Walk in all the ways that I command you,
so that you may prosper.
But they obeyed not, nor did they pay heed.
They walked in the hardness of their evil hearts
and turned their backs, not their faces, to me.
From the day that your fathers left the land of Egypt even to this day,
I have sent you untiringly all my servants the prophets.
Yet they have not obeyed me nor paid heed;
they have stiffened their necks and done worse than their fathers.
When you speak all these words to them,
they will not listen to you either;
when you call to them, they will not answer you.
Say to them:
This is the nation that does not listen
to the voice of the LORD, its God,
or take correction.
Faithfulness has disappeared;
the word itself is banished from their speech.
As I prayed with these words of Jeremiah, written long before the time of Jesus, I couldn’t help but think how pertinent these words are to our society today. We think we have advanced so much (put a man on the moon, invented the internet), but as a people we have not progressed much at all. We have more of what we want, but less of what we need as human beings.
In fact, I’m sure throughout history this message from God to Jeremiah would hold true. The message is simple from God – listen to my voice. If you listen to me and follow my ways, you will prosper. The message doesn’t get any simpler than that. However, putting it into practice is the difficult part. “This is the nation that does not listen to the voice of the Lord, its God, or take correction.”
The Israelites kept turning their back on God even though He had rescued them from slavery in Egypt. God continued to send prophets to teach them His ways. However, they turned their backs on God, as we do today… We don’t have to look too far – nightly news, newspaper, our workplaces, our schools – to see that we have turned our collective backs on the Lord.
Then where is the hope? If we continue to turn our backs on God, how can we survive? If faithfulness has disappeared, where can we turn? If we will not take correction, where do we find solace? JESUS CHRIST is the answer! Jesus is the one who died for you and for me. It is the grace of the Holy Spirit that transforms our hearts. It is the word of God that speaks to us as we read these Scriptures. God’s grace and love can change anyone, even the hardest criminal and the worst sinner. Even you and me…
So let us ask the Lord for His grace today to change our stony hearts into hearts of flesh. Let us meditate on His word and put it into practice. Let us hear His voice in prayer and begin to reclaim this world for God, one person at a time.
There is always hope with Jesus Christ. Is He the center of our lives and the source of everything that we do? He tells us that if we listen to Him and follow His ways, we will prosper.
Do I seek the Lord in my daily life?
Do I obey the Lord when He calls me?