READING: Jeremiah 14-15
“The LORD said to me: ‘Do not pray for the welfare of this people.’”
God had had enough of the sins of His people, and judgment was on its way. Repeating what we have seen in a previous devotion, He even told Jeremiah not to pray for them (Jer. 7:16; 14:11-12). God wanted no part of their religious activities like fasting and giving offerings, for their hearts were still unrepentant, and He would not hear any prayers on their behalf.
Indeed, God said, “Though Moses and Samuel stood before me, yet my heart would not turn toward this people” (Jer. 15:2). Moses, of course, had interceded for the people when he led them (e.g., Exo. 32:11-14, Num. 14:11-25), as had Samuel in his day (1 Sam. 7:3-11, 12:19-25). So effective were they in their praying that God used them comparatively to make His point to Jeremiah: even if these great intercessors to whom He had responded in the past prayed this day, He would still not change His plan. He had drawn the line in the sand.
My thoughts on this text, however, move in perhaps a surprising direction today. Here’s what I wonder: am I a faithful, powerful intercessor with such an intimate relationship with God that He could have used my name instead of Moses’ or Samuel’s in this text? In no way would I ever dare compare myself to these heroes of the faith, but my question remains: would the comparison have carried any weight had God said, “And even if Chuck were standing before me and praying, I would not turn my heart toward them”?
The Word has critiqued my prayer life and challenged me today.
- Examining your own life, ask the same question about your own intercession.
- Pray for someone you know who might be close to that “line in the sand” before God.
PRAYER: “God, make me a prayer warrior, and use me as long as You offer grace to others.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Jeremiah 17-20