Going Deeper 8-27-19

The first lesson for Pentecost 12…

Jeremiah 2:4-13   Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, and all the families of the house of Israel.  Thus says the Lord: What wrong did your ancestors find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthless things, and became worthless themselves?  They did not say, "Where is the Lord who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us in the wilderness, in a land of deserts and pits, in a land of drought and deep darkness, in a land that no one passes through, where no one lives?"  I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruits and its good things. But when you entered you defiled my land, and made my heritage an abomination.  The priests did not say, "Where is the Lord?" Those who handle the law did not know me; the rulers transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after things that do not profit.  Therefore once more I accuse you, says the Lord, and I accuse your children's children.  Cross to the coasts of Cyprus and look, send to Kedar and examine with care; see if there has ever been such a thing.  Has a nation changed its gods, even though they are no gods? But my people have changed their glory for something that does not profit.  Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate, says the Lord, for my people have committed two evils: they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, and dug out cisterns for themselves, cracked cisterns that can hold no water.


Throughout history, people have found all sorts of reasons as to why they have rejected or simply drifted away from God.  Some blame God for the misery they experience or observe, concluding that an all-powerful God who is also supposed to be good would never cause or allow so much hardship.  And there is some sound reasoning involved in such questioning. 


However, upon deeper thought, one must recognize that the cause of all suffering is ultimately the sinful brokenness of creation and of humanity.  Because God is love, He was unable to create robotic, puppet-like creatures who would have no choice but to believe and obey.  Humans were and are created with the choice of rejecting God and His ways, and the results of sinfully going our own way is what has led to all brokenness, pain, and suffering.


But another reason people drift away from God is that they/we simply forget about the gracious blessings He showers upon us and we get distracted by other things.  This is the type of thing Jeremiah is addressing in this text.  God is asking, “What have I done to cause you to reject me and run after other gods?  All I have done is repeatedly bless you because of my love for you, and your way of saying thanks is to drift away and forget about me?!” 


We have been granted the freedom to forsake the Lord, or to live our lives separate from God and according to our own desires, or according to the pattern of the broken world around us.  Take a step back and you will (hopefully) realize how utterly foolish that is!   Let us learn from history so that we do not repeat it.  Remember, constantly remember, the goodness and grace of our Creator/Father, shown most powerfully in the sending of His Son to save us from sin and death.  See the wisdom of living in accord with His plan, and seek the strength of the Holy Spirit to draw ever closer to the source of “living water.”


With You in Him, 


Mark Gabbert, Pastor

Zion Lutheran Church, Wellington, Colorado


“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”