Friday, 1 August 2008

My Thoughts on Today's Bible Readings

Looking at what happened to Jeremiah in today's reading, I was struck by many people's gut reaction to the God of the Old Testament: "Oh why does that God always want to bring disaster on His chosen people?" etc. etc. The fact that the people of Israel kept leaving Him and disaster always brought them back to their true God wasn't given much thought. The people of Israel in Jeremiah's time must have thought the same. "Oh we have the Temple of the Lord; we are His chosen people- we can't be sinning that badly, and besides, He'll understand. After all, we are all that He has." Or something similar, since I'm just guessing here :) So when Jeremiah condemned them to a fate similar to that of heathens and non-believers, they condemned him in return. Instead of listening to him and repenting (a la Nineveh), they decided that he must be wrong, and their current lifestyle must be right in the Lord's eyes. After all, they are happy, right? And what makes them happy must be coming from their God, right?

Jesus didn't fare any better with the people of his hometown. They were of the mindset that a person chosen by God must be extraordinary, and a son of a lowly carpenter definitely isn't extraordinary. Never mind that He had been performing miracles throughout the country; it's what they think and feel that matters most. Are we the same sometimes? Don't we judge people not by who they are (something we can't truly know) but by our perception of who they are (which we stick to like glue)?

Let us not follow the examples of the above peoples. Let us be open to God and His word. Let us treat His word as what it is (His desires for us) and not some human thinking.

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