READING: Jeremiah 16:1-18:23, Jeremiah 35:1-19
Wow. The words are a bit hard to believe. In fact, I’d likely question them if they weren’t the words God breathed for His glory and our good. Even with that truth in mind, though, they still caught me off guard as I read them today (and, that’s despite the fact that I’ve read them many times before over the years).
The words? They are the response of the people when the prophet Jeremiah reminded them again of God’s coming judgment through exile. So great would be the agony that no one could be consoled; so painful would it be that God even told Jeremiah not to marry since all would suffer. Nevertheless, here is what the people asked: “Why has the Lord declared all this terrible disaster against us? What is our iniquity? What is our sin that we have committed against the Lord our God?” (Jer 16:10).
The prophets had catalogued their sins. The people had previously gone through cycles of rebellion and repentance. Jeremiah had been so clear with them to say that their sin was actually worse than the sin of their ancestors! Still, they were stubborn and evil – and still they asked, “What is our sin?”
Our hearts can indeed be so deceitfully wicked that we deny our wrong and convince ourselves of our right. We can walk in outright rebellion and not even be willing to see it’s happening. That’s one reason I’m so grateful for God’s unique, divine, spectacular plan of filling us with Himself in the presence of His Spirit so we continually fight this tendency in His power. May He help all of us today to recognize our sin and turn from it through His grace!
PERSONAL REFLECTION: Have you asked the Lord lately to show you any sin you don’t yet recognize?
DAILY PRAYER: “God, free me from my self-deception. Let me see my heart as You see it – and repent as needed.”
TOMORROW’S READING: Jeremiah 49:1-33, 2 Kings 24:5-7, 2 Chronicles 36:6-8, 2 Kings 24:8-9, 2 Chronicles 36:9, Jeremiah 22:24-23:32