I made it to church today. It was a good thing, though I fought Prednisone emotions quite a bit. I came away with something to think about.
Today’s text is Jeremiah 2:4-13. Things that stick out to me:
I was never unfair to your ancestors, but they left me and became worthless by following worthless idols. (v. 5) The priests who teach my laws don't care to know me. (v. 8) You will find that no nation has ever abandoned its gods ... (v. 11)
God is “the forsaken lover” in this passage. Israel is a devoted bride at first, willing to follow the Lord into the wilderness. But in the promised land she forsakes Him. Why did she forsake Him when things were going well?
How does this work for us in America? I am inclined to think that we forsake God when things go wrong. But did we forsake Him long ago and then discover what we have done when things are going wrong and we have no trust to depend on? If we had a strong faith to begin with, would we so easily blame God for the troubles in our lives? Maybe that is the point in the book of Job... Job serves as an example of abiding faith through the worst of times. Most of us would not make it through those times.
I'm thinking more about this concept of abandoning God during times of plenty… I think it often is not a purposeful abandonment. It’s sort of like coasting along, letting my mind wander, getting wrapped up in the enjoyment of the good things. This is precisely why the act of celebration is a spiritual discipline, and why it can’t be done any old way. It has to be done in a way that honors and brings focus upon God. Otherwise, it is simply reveling in the good, and it becomes an act of abandoning God. If I have not practiced honoring and trusting in God during times of provision, I have no faith during times of trouble.