Summary: Our job as Christians is to tell people about God and to try to lead them to Christ. Sometimes it means steering them to redemption. Do we actually reach out to them with this in mind? Do we seek a radical change in their hearts? Do we warn people?
The Book of Jeremiah is a book full of dark prophecies of doom and gloom. Jeremiah is a heartbroken prophet with a heartbreaking message. The people of Israel had forgotten God and refused to listen for his voice. They were locked into their old way of doing things.
We are the same. Sometimes when we get stuck in our old habits, sins and wicked ways, God has to shake things up. Spiritual stupidity happens when we do not stop to think about the results of our actions, or when we refuse to listen to warnings of others when they speak the truth. We might want to change, but sometimes we might not be willing to be changed. The church is the same. It has become apathetic and complacent. It has a “business as usual” attitude. If we and the church refuse to shake ourselves up, and we refuse to wake the world up, God will have to step in and shake us up.
Jeremiah faithfully declared that obeying God is the only way to escape judgment and receive his blessings. Jeremiah foretold the destruction in Judah that would be caused by the invasion of the Babylonians. False prophets in Judah told the people that everything would be okay when in reality God was about to unleash his wrath. God allowed these false prophets to speak because they fulfilled his purpose of judgment. Jeremiah was so upset that he started to show physical symptoms.
Jeremiah wondered how long he had to be the bearer of bad news. God’s reply was that Jeremiah was to keep preaching doom and gloom until the people gained knowledge and understanding of God’s ways and Word. The people were described in harsh terms that were designed to shock the people into true repentance. The upcoming judgment was portrayed as a reversal of the creation process, but not everything would be destroyed. God would not change his mind about the upcoming judgment.
There is an old saying: “You reap what you sow.” In other words, we have to accept the consequences of our actions. For example, if we overeat, smoke or drink to excess, we risk having health problems. If we neglect God, we will be punished. We will suffer a fate similar to that of the people of Judah. The people of Judah sowed the seeds of disobedience, and the consequence was the invasion of Judah by the Babylonians. The people of Judah were stupid, but God did not give up on them. Similarly, we are often spiritually stupid, but God doesn’t give up on us. He constantly reaches out to us through Jesus’ death and resurrection.
God is known to us, not by his power, might and strength, but by his scars. His scarred hands will take our shaking hands. When he says that he will come looking for us, we can count on it. He will stand up for us, and he will not give up on us. Are we convinced? Are we willing to trust him? Are our values aligned with his? Now that we have been made right with God through the cross, will we confess our selfishness and offer to others the love and mercy God has shown to us?
Our job as Christians is to tell people about God and to try to lead them to Christ. Sometimes it means steering them to redemption. Do we actually reach out to them with this in mind? Do we seek a radical change in their hearts? Do we warn people about the dangers in our culture? Do we talk about our doubts with God? Do we have a passion for our faith? We are called to care for other Christians so much that we feel it in the depths of our souls, and we are to show that caring attitude with our whole hearts.