Wednesday, 30 July 2008

My Thoughts on Today's Bible Readings

Here's my reflections on today's readings from Jeremiah:

I always wondered at how confident the Old Testament prophets were that the Lord was actually speaking to them, that what they're hearing wasn't a product of a too active imagination or evil spirits or whatever. I often doubt that the voices I hear or the inspirations I get comes from the Lord. Maybe I'm being too scrupulous. Maybe I should be (like Jeremiah) just joyful and happy at heart that I can hear the Lord in the 1st place.

Now Jeremiah did exactly what the Lord told him to (tell the people of Israel what their God says to them) but he was unhappy with the resulting manner in which his people treated him [Under the weight of your hand I sat alone / because you filled me with indignation / Why is my pain continuous / my wound incurable, refusing to be healed?]. Maybe he was expecting, if not to be adored, at least to be listened to with respect. So he complained to the Lord. How many of us are like him? Unhappy with our circumstances? Angry with the way people treat us for doing the right thing? Take your complaints to the Lord! That's what the prophets did. Even Jesus did so (remember His prayer in the garden of Gethsemane?)

So how did the Lord answer Jeremiah? Not with a lightning bolt. Not with fire and brimstone. But with a promise that He will protect Jeremiah "with a wall of brass". He will suffer along with Jeremiah as the people of Israel persecute him. And that's probably God's response to such prayers from us. He will help us through times of trouble, persecution and depression, and He will suffer along with us. After all, He did die for us and came back to life for us.

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