Weekly Sabbath Survey
Jeremiah and Me — 2-20-2016
In the beginning of my power walk with God, I had little idea where we were going. I was just thrilled to be invited on the trip! I read books like The Sons of Zadok, The Elijah Task, and Pigs in the Parlor, and thought the things I was feeling and learning was for everybody. Needless to say, I figured out I was wrong. But not before I convinced quite a few people that I had lost my mind or was just a crabby, judgmental woman on the fool’s errand. The Lord, with time, has softened my edges so I can let people be who they are in the Lord, and pray they do the same for me.
I remember vividly when I read the book of Jeremiah the first time. I cried buckets!! Day after day. My heart broke for this faithful servant of God and his destiny! His refusal to shut up even through horrible punishment and threats of death! His story served to strengthen me for my own ministry of “afflicting the comfortable” (rather than comforting the afflicted.) The criticism from time to time is my proof that I’m at least shaking some people’s trees as I invite them to change their mind. Sometimes, others shake my tree. And, I know exactly how difficult it is for them! Most are friends who are also in the ministry of barking up the trees. I have gained strength from associating with them and finding from them understanding, agreement, and even correction. They have my same seriously strong commitment to the Lord to stay with the task given us. In the Bible the prophet was told by his audience, “Prophesy smooth things.” But the person cast in Jeremiah’s mold can never say a word unless they believe it is from God, no matter how ‘rough’ it is.
The further we go toward The End, the more I see the validity of this ministry. The times we are in are so very perilous. I pray the Lord raise up more Jeremiah people who are willing to do this work. We can’t all be smiling and saying, “Well, bless your heart” all the time. We pray for the Lord’s mercy on His covenant people, both the Jews and The Believers in The Way. For some, as Isaiah said, “Your lips praise God but your hearts are far from Him.” Many Believers have followed the Biblical pattern of doing our own thing and loving our traditions more than we love God. We have ‘false’ things that could pass for ‘gods.’ We have lies we tell and other lies we believe. Some of our leaders ‘anoint’ themselves for the ministry they do. Just like in Israel in the time of Jeremiah.
It isn’t fun to look on the other side of the “bright” side. But it is wise. It doesn’t mean there is no happiness, no joy. We delight in our children and grandchildren, fellowship with Believers. We enjoy our pets, our gardens, our every day work, and the beauty of the Earth. Most anything that isn’t manmade makes me happy! A bouquet of flowers. Wild birds. Rain. Sunrise. (You have to get up early for that one!) But turning a blind eye to the signs of the times won’t make the bad stuff nor the truth go away.
Some of us must weep like Jeremiah for the people who claim The Heavenly Father as their God, and the ones who claim Jesus as their Savior/Messiah. Even as some unbelievers are sounding the alarm for the dire condition of our world, we cover the ugly surface of truth with “It’s all OK.” We could judge the nation of Greece for not planning ahead and watching their bottom line closer. But rather than criticize another government, we should be learning about our own national circumstances and financial house of cards here at home. Some are preparing financially, in practical ways, which is wise if the Lord is leading them.
But FOR SURE, we need to be preparing spiritually. Just believing the train bound for glory will take us away from all this is pure folly. Israel went into Babylon just like Jerry said they would. I wonder if some of them wished they had listened to that pesky prophet of doom. He begged them to let go and let God. Even at the end, the ones left after two invasions by the Babylonians decided they should seek asylum in Canada, I mean, Egypt. The Prophet said to them, “Do you think God cannot find you in Egypt???” They went anyway, dragging pain-in-the-neck Jeremiah with them. Nebuchadnezzar (King of Babylon) pursued them into Egypt and hauled them back to their new home in, you guessed it! BABYLON!
The whole nation felt God’s punishment for the rampant wickedness, the bad people and the good. They were given several offers to repent and be spared, but they didn’t. The truth is really important.
I am against you. You say, “Who will invade us? Who will enter our homes?” But I will punish you according to the results of your [evil] ways, says the Lord. I will bring a fire and it will destroy everything around it. Woe to the pastors who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! Jeremiah 21:13-14, 23:1
Charlene Reams Manning
Believer in the Lord Jesus Messiah
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