“Many shepherds will ruin my vineyard and trample down my field; they will turn my pleasant field into a desolate wasteland.” ~Jeremiah 12:10
[The Book of Jeremiah, also called The Prophecy Of Jeremias, one of the major prophetical writings of the Old Testament. Jeremiah, a Judaean prophet whose activity spanned four of the most tumultuous decades in his country’s history, appears to have received his call to be a prophet in the 13th year of the reign of King Josiah(627/626 BC) and continued his ministry until after the siege and capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586 BC. Many of his oracles concerned the turbulent events of his times.]. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_Jeremiah
Today’s verse refers to the Israelites and their actions towards God and the gifts God had given them since they had been rescued from Egypt. After God rescued them, God invited them to be His people. It was by the power of God and not their own that they conquered the land that was promised to them and where they made their homes. The Israelites enjoyed the land that God had given to them, they worshipped and honored God, for a time. It was not long before the Israelites forgot the instructions that God had given to them, they were tempted by the powers of others, they forgot God. Then, God brought judgment on the people and humbled them. Nations and rulers came into the land, they conquered and lay waste to the people. God was returning the Israelites to the wilderness, where they would be called to repent and worship God again.
The Israelites were drawn to something that seemed to be powerful and was pleasing to them, so much so that they fell away from God. They were distracted by shiny things and cunning conversations, their egos and their pride. As I read this story and others like it from the Bible, I see reflections of my own life. There have been times when my ego and pride enticed me to do things that were in direct conflict with God and people. I say this not as something I am proud of, I am rather ashamed of these actions. So there’s definitely no room or place to point fingers or make accusations or even compared the behaviors and actions of the Israelites as better or worse than anyone else’s. Don’t get me wrong, I’m human just like you and I’m tempted to point out the severity of someone else’s “sin” in comparison to my own. It is a futile battle to wage, sin is sin and separation from God is never good. I’m reminded of a few bible verses that I learned and memorized when I was in high school, my understanding of them has changed through the years and especially during this Lenten journey. They are:
Matthew 7:5, “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Romans 3:23, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Basically, when I have no sin in my life, then I can point out sin in someone else’s. I will always be blinded by the plank in my own eye and unqualified to remove my brothers speck in his. We are all sinful, we all sin, we all need to repent, we all need forgiveness…we all need God.
Just as the Israelites returned to the wilderness, we too need to return to the wilderness, to fall on our knees and seek forgiveness and return to God, so we can once again fully worship God and allow His glory to flow through us. As the night brings restoration to our bodies , each new day is an opportunity to start anew, leaving the troubles and sins of yesterday at the feet of Jesus as we repent and seek reconciliation with God. Live for today, not yesterday and not for tomorrow.
In closing, I would like to share some personal insights. The words I type out in this space are heartfelt and from personal experiences. I believe the things I write and trust God to bless the readers. Starting each new day with no regard to what happened yesterday…that…WILL NOT BE EASY, but it will be so WORTH IT, TO TRY!
FORGIVENESS AND SALVATION ARE FREE…sincerely and honestly seek God AND His forgiveness AND His Will for your life!
Positivity produces POSITIVE results!
Always look for the good in everything and everyone. I coined a phrase today at work, at least I think I did(?). I knew I would be hearing some news that would directly impact me and my work environment, I typically do not like changes but I’ve decided to be more optimistic as part of my Lenten journey so, I decided whatever news I receive, it would be a “win/win” for everyone involved. And you know what, it is and will be! We can always choose how we react to life. So, first and foremost thank you, to God for His unending patience with me and secondly, I am sincerely overwhelmed by the people I work with and their level of compassion, understanding, professionalism and mostly their friendship! Everyday I am becoming a better person, better employee and better friend because of the caliber of their character that they present and express on a daily basis. I am blessed and extremely lucky to be able spend time with them. However long it is, it will be too short.
As we continue our journey through the wilderness, are there things in your life where God is working to humble you?
Breath Prayer: Less of me, More of you God! ~Amen
~Blessings and Peace~