Saturday Devotion: 10 July 2021- Jeremiah 2
In this chapter, God told Jeremiah to tell His people to submit themselves to the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon. The prophets from the nation of Israel resisted and instead prophesy against God’s instructions to come under the rule of King Nebuchadnezzar. God instructed Jeremiah to make bonds and yokes, devices placed upon the neck of an ox or other beasts to bring them under control. This was a visual illustration to God’s people that they are to submit to God’s instructions however surprising it sounds. The prophets of Judah encouraged the people by telling them what they want to hear by rebelling against Babylon.
Submission to God
This was a difficult command for the people of God to accept. The idea of submission to someone else’s idea or plan which does not correspond with your ways is difficult to accept. We all want control of our lives and control over situations which we think we can handle. Just think about how difficult it is to submit to our bosses or people of authority over you or even some of the laws of this country. What more, to submit to something which, on the face of it, is illogical or does not make any sense. But as Christians, through the Holy Spirit, we are able to obey and submit. But this is what we are called to do as believers. To submit to God in all circumstances.
There is no greater example than Christ’s perfect submission in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before his crucifixion. We read about Jesus’ anguish as he faces the horrors of the cross. Jesus’ words, reverberate through the ages, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). Even with the terror of death looming, Christ does not exercise His own will but obeys His Father.
“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand that he may lift you up in due time” (1 Peter 5:6). We cannot submit to God without being humble. God calls for our obedience and we cannot be obedient if we are prideful. Which area of our lives requires us to submit to God? Our relationships? Our career? Can we trust God’s ways and plans are better than ours? We can just turn to the numerous stories in the Bible where God’s plan is better than any plan man can come up with. Tutor your hearts, mind and soul to trust God and be humble before Him.
Grace of God
Even though the people of God were disobedient and did not seem to trust what God was saying, God still warned them and the surrounding nations that they should obey to avoid an even worse fate. How patient and gracious is our God. He did not need to warn them repeatedly. But time and time again, we turned our backs on him and time and time again, he demonstrates his love for us by giving us his grace. From the beginning, even when Adam and Eve sinned, he still clothed them. We all fall short even when we do our best. But passages like these remind us that God’s grace is greater than our shortfalls. He is ready to forgive our sins and brings us to repentance. When we sin and disobey him, he calls us to repentance with loving arms and say, ‘come here my child’.
Just like the Israelites in this passage, what they deserve was punishment and they did not deserve to be warned of the consequences of disobedience. They took God’s grace for granted. Let’s pause for a moment and reflect are we like the nation of Israel who time and time again taking God’s mercy and grace for granted?
Prayer: Lord, I pray that humility and submission to You will take root deep within me. Father, I seek Your mind, Your heart, and Your will—not mine. I pray that I would obey Your plan regardless even if I don’t understand it, Your ways are better than my ways. I thank you for the grace that you have showed me everyday and forgive me for those days which I took it for granted. Amen