If you’re following the schedule, you should read these chapters today: Judges 1, Acts 5, Jeremiah 14, Matthew 28. Click on any of those references to see all the passages in one long page on BibleGateway. If you can't do all the readings today, read Jeremiah 14.
Before the Lord sent judgment on Judah through the Babylonians, he sent a drought as an act of judgment against the people (vv. 1-6). Jeremiah cried out to the Lord during this drought, acknowledging the sin of the people (v. 7a, c) but asking for God to be merciful and save them from suffering from dehydration and starvation. Jeremiah’s request was rooted in a desire for God to be glorified (v. 7b, 8a-b, 9b). This meant that other nations would know that God is the Lord. This was God’s intention; it is what his promises were supposed to produce but it was dependent on Israel’s obedience. Although Jeremiah’s prayer came from a godly desire, God was not inclined to answer because of their sins (vv. 10-12). He even commanded Jeremiah not to pray for the people (v. 11).
In the middle of all this sin, there was a religious front put on by the people. They were fasting and bringing their offerings to God (v. 12a) and they had prophets who were foretelling peace (v. 13). Anyone who wanted to believe that things were OK had religious reasons to think so. But God sent Jeremiah to tell the truth and rebuke those false prophets (vv. 14-18). The passage closes with Jeremiah confessing the sin of his people and calling on God to work and provide deliverance for them (vv. 20-22). The problem was that he was one of the few who was praying and confessing in this way. A majority of the people were satisfied with a superficial worship of God that did not come from the heart. They welcomed and encouraging and hopeful message from their prophets, but it was not one that was based in truth.
This kind of thing was not confined to Judah in Jeremiah’s day. In every age there are people who claim to serve God but their worship is a set of routines, not a relationship of faith and obedience to the moral and ethical commands of God’s word. This can happen to genuine believers—to us—as well. We get complacent in our walk with God; we may do all the same things we’ve always done and say all the right things but does it come from the heart? God wants us to live in a relationship of worship, reverence, service, and obedience; without the relationship, the rest is meaningless.
So, how’s the status of your relationship with God today?
Now for your thoughts: What stood out in your Bible reading for today? What questions do you have about what you read? What are your thoughts about what I wrote above? Post them in the comments below or on our Facebook page. And, feel free to answer and interact with the questions and comments of others. Have a great day; we'll talk scripture again tomorrow.