July 30 – Today’s Readings – Jeremiah 7-9 and Psalms 30
Chapter 7 is chilling in its assessment of religious people who do not live out their confession of faith. They go to the temple; they offer sin offerings and fellowship offerings and they say in their hearts that because they have done these things they will be “safe”. The problem is that they then go out and LIVE contrary to what they did and said in their worship. “Will you steal and murder, commit adultery and perjury, burn incense to Baal and follow other gods you have not known, and then come and stand before me in this house, which bears my Name, and say, ‘We are safe’, safe to do all these detestable things? Has this house, which bears my Name, become a den of robbers to you? But I have been watching! declares the LORD.” (Jeremiah 7:9-11)
He watches me too – The Spirit of God watches over me with great jealousy so that I can be kept from sin and keep turning my heart back to Jesus. Let’s not get all confused about this. If you are born again of the Spirit of God, you will want to do right and to live a life of integrity. Its religious people who have not been born of the Spirit that God is addressing here. Just because people attend Church does not mean they know Jesus. Hypocrites are those who know about the Lord and give assent to Him but have not experienced the miracle of new birth and therefore continue to live in sin.
On another note, Chapter 8:21-22 reads, “Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?” The “balm” Jeremiah is speaking of is actually sap or resin from a Balsam tree that was used as a healing ointment in Old Testament times. Gilead is a “type” of the modern day Church. To properly understand this verse then, we have to read, “Is there no healing in the Church?” This is what Church needs to be – a place of healing for people’s emotions, spirits and bodies. When people come into Church let it never be said that we were too busy about our own affairs to care for them and see them healed.
Ezekiel 47:12 “Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear, because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
Malachi 4:2 “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.”
1. Give an example of a time when you felt God’s “jealous” love keeping you from sin.
2. Give an example of how The Church can be a place of healing.