READING: Jeremiah 8:4-11:23
I am so grateful today that God is patient with us. His grace truly is amazing. His mercy is indeed daily. His love is beyond our comprehension. His forgiveness is complete. But, He also does draw a line in the sand. He is a God of righteousness and judgment.
Today’s reading includes the second time in the book of Jeremiah where God tells the prophet not to intercede for the people (Jer 7:16, 11:14 [and, later in the book, 14:11]). God had determined that the time for judgment had come. The people had been crying out to false gods who could not help them, and the true God would not hear them even if they turned to Him. As one writer described them, “The cry of the people now was that of the guilty smarting under punishment, not of the penitent mourning over sin.”* Even the prophet should no longer pray for them.
In no way are these words permission for us not to pray for others (even Jeremiah had to hear a unique word from God to halt his praying). In fact, they compel me to pray even more for those I love who have turned their back on God. I don’t want them to cross a line that necessitates God’s judgment. I don’t want to hear God say to me, “Don’t pray for them anymore.”
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Is there anyone in your life who is continually turning from God?
DAILY PRAYER: “Lord, grant me ears to hear when You warn me about my own sin. Help me to know how to pray for others.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Jeremiah 12:1-15:21
*Barnes, A. (1879). Notes on the Old Testament: Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Jeremiah, Lamentations & Ezekiel (F. C. Cook & J. M. Fuller, Eds.; p. 180). John Murray.