I have been reading through some of the early chapters of Jeremiah. It makes for very grim reading at times. Sadly, one can’t but help read about God’s people then and think how much of it may be true about God’s people today! Reading through chapter 6, three verses caught my eye:-
“To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the Lord is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.” Jeremiah 6:10
“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’” Jeremiah 6:16
“Therefore this is what the Lord says: “I will put obstacles before this people. Fathers and sons alike will stumble over them; neighbours and friends will perish.” Jeremiah 6:21
Later on in the book of Jeremiah, God tells his prophet not to pray for the people because He will not listen and will not answer. The people have strayed so far and been so rebellious that God has disowned them. They are no longer His people and He has withdrawn His provision and His protection. They wanted independence – so He gave it to them.
After reading one depressing chapter after another in Jeremiah one can understand why Jeremiah is called the weeping prophet. It is bad enough that the people of God are not living up to God’s expectations – but God disowning them is even worse. They are on course for an invasion from the north and exile into a foreign country.
I have a thing that I do when there seems to be nothing to be encouraged by. I turn things upside down to find the reverse truth. The things that the people of God had been doing had caused God to disown them and create distance between them. What must I do to create an opposite reaction from God?
When He speaks to me to give me warning I will listen to Him. My ears will be open so that I can hear. I will not be offended by His word but find delight in everything He says.
When I stand at the crossroads I will look; I will ask for the ancient paths, the good way, and I will walk in it. I shall find rest for my soul. I will said, ‘I will walk in it.’
The Lord will remove the obstacles before His people. Fathers and sons alike will not stumble; neighbours and friends will flourish.
Sometimes it is the revelation of what could have been if I had walked well with God that stirs me more than someone spelling out how bad things will be because of my rebellion.
The phrase that particularly provokes my spirit is “God will remove the obstacles before His people”. The biggest obstacle, sin, had been removed by Christ.
I claim it as a promise that God removes the obstacles from my path when I open my ears to listen to Him, when I take delight in His word and when I walk the good path He has set me upon.