Thursday, December 09, 2010

Reading Jeremiah

It appears that certain traits are just part of being a fallen human. For instance, forgetting something previously learned and having to learn it again is human. By human, I mean “common to man.” It is common to man to learn something, forget it, and then have to relearn it. Furthermore, it is also common to man to know something about God, doubt what you know over time, and then have to relearn it again.

A major example of this is the history of Israel recounted in the Old Testament. They would walk uprightly, fully relying on God, and all would be well. Then they would drift away, give God lip-service and face judgment. They would repent, call out to God for mercy, he would relent and they would walk uprightly again. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Why do we do this? Maybe a simple answer is our fallen nature; we are sinners. That seems too simple an answer, but I think it is probably an honest one. We are fallen creatures and we tend to forget the goodness of God when we see the shiny trinket. We are prone to wander.

I started reading Jeremiah again for my personal devotions. If I have time, I might post my thoughts as I move through this book. It has been a few years since I really concentrated my way through this book, but I remember how much I liked it. At one point I called Jeremiah my favorite Old Testament book.

It was around 2002–2003 when I first read Jeremiah and decided it was my favorite. The seeds of our move to Minnesota and my career change toward ministry were being sown. I was younger and on fire for the Lord. I was zealous for his glory and holiness. I reveled in his judgment of Israel and Judah for their turning away from him.

Today, in late 2010, I am a bit older, a bit more experienced. I believe I have a deeper, stronger faith than I did then, one tested by fire, one with less dross, mostly because we have suffered more. As a family, we have experience deeper depths of emotional pain, and felt the silence of God more profoundly. We have asked, “Why do you hide your face from me, O Lord?” Yet, we are still here. We still trust God. We still look to Jesus as our hope.

Because of this difference in life experience, I am approaching Jeremiah a bit differently. The earlier zeal is tempered. The camaraderie with Jeremiah is more acute when he cries, “Ah, Lord God, surely you have utterly deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It shall be well with you,’ whereas the sword has reached their very life” (Jeremiah 4:10).

I finished chapter five, and started writing this post. Blogging is silly, and I have a tendency to expose too much of my soul. I am a fallen, melancholy, introspective git (used to be dork, but I have been influenced by Carl Trueman). Oh well. Writing these posts helps me process and learn. Writing helps me think and pray and hope in God. It helps me see his goodness in his Word.

I can’t promise much; well, actually, I can promise real questions. Let’s see if I can find any answers. (Let’s see if I can post on Jeremiah beyond this one....)

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