My read-through-the-Bible plan doesn’t go from January to January so my reading today, January 12, is actually day 104 in a genre-based reading plan (History, Poetry, Prophets, Gospels, Epistles). It is very rare that my Bible reading doesn’t have some relevance to things currently happening in my life or the world, but it couldn’t have been truer to my feelings and concerns this day. It begins:
Righteous are You, O LORD, that I would plead my case with You; indeed I would discuss matters of justice with You. Why has the way of the wicked prospered? Why are all those who deal in treachery at ease? You have planted them, they have also taken root; They grow, they have even produced fruit. You are near to their lips but far from their mind. But You know me, O LORD; You see me; and You examine my heart’s attitude toward You. Drag them off like sheep for the slaughter and set them apart for a day of carnage! How long is the land to mourn and the vegetation of the countryside to wither? For the wickedness of those who dwell in it, animals and birds have been snatched away, because men have said, “He will not see our latter ending.” “If you have run with footmen and they have tired you out, then how can you compete with horses? If you fall down in a land of peace, how will you do in the thicket of the Jordan? “For even your brothers and the household of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you, even they have cried aloud after you. Do not believe them, although they may say nice things to you.” —from Jeremiah 12
God answers the Prophet Jeremiah over the next couple of chapters. He declares that the unjust shall not prosper, and His judgement shall be final.
Thus says the LORD to this people, “Even so they have loved to wander; they have not kept their feet in check. Therefore the LORD does not accept them; now He will remember their iniquity and call their sins to account.” So the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for the welfare of this people. When they fast, I am not going to listen to their cry; and when they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I am not going to accept them. Rather I am going to make an end of them by the sword, famine and pestilence.”
Our country is a country of worship, but it is primarily not the worship of God. We worship wealth (Shark Tank); we worship sex (The Bachelor / Bachelorette); we worship violence and betrayal (Game of Thrones); we worship debauchery and drugs (Breaking Bad).
We condone the shedding of innocent blood (abortion on demand, for any reason, at any time during pregnancy), while we commend immorality of every type. We revere trees and nature while we ravage in riots homes and businesses. We exclude Christian teaching from public forums but we embrace transsexuals teaching small children in public libraries, dressed in drag.
You can read all the ways and means that God uses to judge a nation that has forgotten Him in those chapters in Jeremiah, but there is a glimmer of hope in the 15th chapter:
Therefore, thus says the LORD, “If you return, then I will restore you— Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, But as for you, you must not turn to them. “Then I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you,” declares the LORD. “So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent.”
Let us be faithful to declare our allegiance to God and to those things that are precious; let us put all our hope in Him and press on to that perfect day when the Lord Jesus Christ rules upon the Earth.