Scripture: Jeremiah 7:4 Do not trust in these deceptive words: “This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.” 5 For if you truly amend your ways and your doings, if you truly act justly one with another, 6 if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, 7 then I will dwell with you in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your ancestors forever and ever.
Observation: Seems that God’s people expected to do evil and escape the consequences because they belonged to God. These verses were a warning indicating the contrary. Yes, God loved his children of Israel, but he would not spare them the consequences of their evil ways.
Application: I’ve said in this space before, one of the most difficult challenges of raising yound adult children is letting them experience the consequences of their actions. As parents it’s often our nature to want to shield them from adversity, but doing so only keeps them from growing into adults. Let’s face it – pain and adversity are great teachers.
And if I’m honest, I’ve mostly learned important life lessons the hard way. I’ve done the wrong things in the wrong way, sometimes in spite of warnings from others. It seems that, for stubborn people like me, I sometimes have to place my hand upon the stove-top to truly learn it’s hot. The fact that God allows for this is not a sign of his neglect, but rather his love or us.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, give us grace to overcome our hard-headedness and listen to the council of others – especially you. Amen.