Read Jeremiah 44
Focus on verse 4-7
It is a sorry sight to behold; yet one typically does not have to look too far to find an example of a person who appears to be methodically destroying his or her own life. I say, “appears to be methodically” because the person responsible for the destruction typically is not aware that they are the primary cause of the carnage. Most often the blame is shifted to any thing or any one conveniently close enough to accuse. The root cause of this kind of self-destruction is ultimately made possible when one has been deceived into believing what is not true about themselves and/or the world around them.
Jeremiah reminds us that God has been persistent in His desire for us to choose to believe His truth. It would seem that we have a long history of rejecting this invitation. He writes to Israel in today’s reading; “Yet I persistently sent to you all my servants the prophets, saying, ‘O, do not do this abomination that I hate!” But they did not listen or incline their ear, to turn from their evil…” (v. 4-5a)
It is tempting to blame God for the destruction of Israel when He Himself claims He is sending the Babylonian army to destroy them. What we forget is all the attempts that God made to convince Israel to turn from their self-destructive ways. This invasion could have been avoided if the people of Israel had responded to the warnings of God’s prophets. Jeremiah’s message is consistent with the prophets that came before him. He is calling God’s people back from their own self-destruction, but most of the people pay no heed.
In our own context the spiritual climate is frighteningly similar. There is a voice here and there – calling the church back from pursuing false doctrine, from worshipping the gifts rather than the giver, from self-righteous self-indulgence in the squandering of resources that God has entrusted to us. There are a few who respond, a few who heed the warnings, just as there were in Jeremiah’s day, however, most continue on in their self-deception unaware of where it is leading.
Revival is an interesting phenomenon; it always begins small, like the tiny spark that starts what eventually becomes a raging forest fire. All it takes to start a revival is for one person to wake up to God’s truth about our condition, and to be obedient in sharing that truth. When that happens, one becomes two, and two becomes four and four becomes eight and very soon it becomes a spiritual tidal wave that is unstoppable by anything other then God Himself. I’ve often heard it said that revival begins with “me”! What if that “me” is you?