The way of man.

March 11, 2014.

“Concerning the prophets: My heart is broken within me; all my bones shake; I am like a drunken man, like a man overcome by wine, because of the Lord and because of his holy words. For the land is full of adulterers; because of the curse the land mourns, and the pastures of the wilderness are dried up. Their course is evil, and their might is not right. “Both prophet and priest are ungodly; even in my house I have found their evil, declares the Lord.”
(Jeremiah 23:9-11)

Jeremiah has an interesting story. He was a young guy, called by God to deliver a wholly unpopular message to his people. He didn’t want to, and who could blame him? Do we today encourage a message that does anything besides encourage people and tell them that everything is alright? Personally, I don’t like conflict; thus, I don’t like preaching hard words. But that was Jeremiah’s divine calling, as I believe it may just be ours again today.

Here’s what is interesting about this passage to me- Israel didn’t think they had abandoned God. “Both prophet and priest are ungodly” implies that there were prophets and priests. It is not in the job description of either of these positions to be ungodly, yet they were. This tells me they didn’t think they were ungodly. Could this be true of us today? When we preach something that is in direct contradiction to the word, claiming “well, that was just their culture back then” or “that no longer applies to us,” are we not doing the same things as the children of Israel were doing? I have been reading through Proverbs, and two verses stood out to me last night that I believe have application here:

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
(Proverbs 14:12)

“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”
(Proverbs 16:25)

Solomon goes on later to further explain this concept:

“Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart.”
(Proverbs 21:2)

So many times I have heard, “Well, I just feel like this is what God wants” and “I feel like this is what really matters.” Of course we do. We all do. No one thinks “Hmm, I feel like what I am doing is wrong” and continues to do it for very long. If they do, then they are continuing in willful sin, and this is not good. Either he or she will stop doing it or they will change their feelings about it. Paul would call the latter a searing of the conscience. The former would be a growing in the faith. No, we will never have everything right, but we are to diligently search for truth, and apply each bit of truth to our lives when we find it. I’m starting to think grace will cover the rest (possibly more on that to come in later posts, as I need to study more about it before I say anything).

I believe these are the days of Jeremiah, so to speak, as the message of the cross is now offensive in America. Why? Because no one thinks they are lost. American society preaches a doctrine of “everybody’s pretty good.” This contradicts the truth that we are all fallen and in need of a Savior. Thus, our message is unpopular and discouraged. But this does not change truth. Everyone on this planet could look up and bluntly state that God is wrong all at one time. Truth would not move. We don’t decide what truth is, we are no where near worthy to do so. The end of the matter is this: God is truth. His spirit defines what truth is. There is none else. No wise man could ever lift a finger to God. And this is why we so desperately need him.

So, I would like to encourage you to continue to spread the message, even in the ears of those who don’t want to hear it. We are the watchmen. It is time to take up our discourse and spread the good news! May he ever be with us and give us boldness and courage.

Suggested Daily Reading: Proverbs 20, Jeremiah 9, 20, Colossians 1.

Strength and honor.

-Walter

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