I can remember by the time I turned to age 14 or so, I really began to question why my mom and dad would not let me do certain things. For example, when I was in High School, my friends and I liked to go out for pizza on Friday nights after the football games. I had a very strict curfew; however, some of my friends did not. My mom would say, “Nothing good happens after midnight – so be home by ten!” It always seemed I had to be the first one to have to go home. Now that I have gotten older and have had my own children, I can understand my mom and dad’s strict rules. They loved me! They wanted me to be safe! They wanted me to do everything as they said so that all would be well! And, it was for my own good!
In Jeremiah 7:1-11, the prophet is told by God to go to the people and tell them to quit all their evil ways. The people are in the Temple worshipping, thinking and believing that because they are in the Temple, that is good enough. Jeremiah has the duty of telling them that not only are they to come and worship God, but also, they must quit their evil deeds and thoughts – start treating each other with justice; stop exploiting foreigners, orphans, and widows; stop murdering, and stop harming yourselves by worshipping idols. And, by the way…Don’t think you have fooled God just because you are in the Temple – It’s a lie (Jeremiah 7:6-8).
But, why did God want Jeremiah to go and tell the people that they need to change? Why was it so important that they stop treating each other with injustice, murder, and worshipping idols? Why does God care what we do here in this world? Well, because God loves us! If we do what God says, then all will be well! Our obedience to God will reveal what is in our hearts, which will put us on the path to a right relationship with God. It literally determines our future!
Just as our parents want us to be safe and secure in our future – So, does our God!
Let us pray…Gracious God, rules are sometimes hard to follow. It feels much easier to just do what feels good and enjoy our days without all the rules. Help us to hear your call for us – to a future that will keep us safe and secure. Help us to know right from wrong, good from evil, and the strength to obey. We love you so much, Amen.