I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course. So correct me, LORD, but please be gentle. Do not correct me in anger, for I would die. Jeremiah 10:23-24
Jeremiah was a prophet who lived in the years just prior to Nebuchadnezzar defeating and taking the people of Judah into captivity. Jeremiah was told by God to warn the people to be obedient to His commands. The king of Judah, Josiah, had just recently discovered the law, it was found during renovations of the temple. Using the newly discovered law king Josiah made sweeping reforms for the nation of Judah especially for worshipping God and God alone. Jeremiah’s job was to convince the people that these reforms were from God and that only full and complete obedience to God would spare them from being wiped out.
Much of the messages that Jeremiah recorded and preached are in context of convincing people to turn back to God. We also see in Jeremiah’s prophecy as in every other book of the Old Testament evidence of a Savior, a messiah, a redeemer who would someday come.
The most obvious reference in the book of Jeremiah is this one in chapter 23:5-6
“For the time is coming,” says the LORD, “when I will raise up a righteous descendant from King David’s line. He will be a King who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this will be his name: ‘The LORD Is Our Righteousness.’”
The Scripture that we read this week in Jeremiah 10 is not a direct prophecy for Jesus, but, it is a plea of a preacher for him and his people, to turn back to God and ultimately God out of His mercy and love for us gave us Jesus as a means to escape his correction. We are not punished as we deserve if we give our lives to Jesus Christ. 2 Timothy 1:9 “For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus.”
I’m especially interested in the first line of Jeremiah 10. “I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.” Jesus made several references to this as he taught his followers, he said, “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28 Jesus had a purpose. He was on earth to do something specific. He said, “ you don’t even know God. I know him. If I said otherwise, I would be as great a liar as you! But I do know him and obey him.” John 8:55 If you have been coming to worship here for any length of time you’ve heard Jesus say, “This is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice for many.” Mark 14:24
There are many references in the New Testament to this truth, too, “I know, LORD, that our lives are not our own. We are not able to plan our own course.” In 1 Corinthians 6:19 Paul says, “Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself” 1 Peter 2:9 “you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession.
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