Sniffing The Wind - Part 1


By Nate Hartman

November 19, 2020

Jeremiah 2:

“I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness.”

But how easy it is, when things get hard, to turn to our own way, to refuse to trust Him, to think that our own perspective is more wise than His.

“What fault did your ancestors find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves.”

Because what God asked was difficult, His people chose to rely on something that they hoped would allow them to escape what God asked of them. They forgot that God had been faithful to them each step of the way along that difficult road, were unable to see and unwilling to trust that God had a good purpose for them, amidst these circumstances.

“They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord, who brought us up out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness, through a land of deserts and ravines, a land of drought and utter darkness.’”

They were not willing to be reminded that God brought them OUT of slavery, that He brought them THROUGH wilderness and would do so again. Instead, they sought to succumb again to slavery; they went headfirst into it.

“I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land ... The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ ... The leaders rebelled against me ... prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols.”

“Therefore I bring charges against you...and I will bring charges against your children’s children...Observe closely...See if there has ever been anything like this: Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols.”

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

Am I dissatisfied with the way in which God leads me? Do I rationalize away my responsibility by promoting common sense, believing in the beauty of broken words?

“Have you not brought this on yourselves by forsaking the Lord your God when he led you in the way?”

Of course not! I’m just using the mind that God gave me to pursue better paths, to choose to head in a direction that makes sense. Why wouldn’t I do that?

But have I sought Him first, laid down my pride and perspective and seen it in the light of His Word, considered whether my ways reflect His ways? When I do so, often — too often — I find that my ways are only my own.

“Long ago you broke off your yoke and tore off your bonds; you said, ‘I will not serve you!’ Indeed, on every high hill and under every spreading tree you lay down as a prostitute.” But, God, You know I believe in You; I profess Your name.

“How can you say, ‘I am not defiled; I have not run after the Baals’? See how you behaved in the valley; consider what you have done. You are a swift she-camel running here and there, a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving— in her heat who can restrain her?”

Well, yes, Lord, I do sometimes make mistakes. I sometimes get frustrated and tired of doing the right thing; I get selfish and stray for a bit. But I know that you know I’m just a weak human being...and that you don’t expect me to be perfect. I know you’ll forgive me, right?

“I had planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock. How then did you turn against me into a corrupt, wild vine? Although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me.”

But, God, it’s not as if I’m worshipping wooden idols like the Israelites did. That would be foolish...silly to worship and put my trust in something made by the hands of man.

Then I hear His voice speak the truth, and I am convicted...

O, My child...but you have. “You said...’It’s no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.’”

Any motive contrary to His Word, any pride refusing to be submitted to His desire, any perspective independent of the truth that He has taught me...Any desire that drives me from the path He has called me to follow, any insistence that grows so loud as to deafen His voice, any clenching of my own mighty fist with the intent to produce my own good...These are all my idols, the works of my own hands, my foreign gods.

“Yet in spite of all this you say, ‘I am innocent; he is not angry with me.’ But I will pass judgment on you because you say, ‘I have not sinned.’ Why do you go about so much, changing your ways? You will be disappointed ... You will leave that place with your hands on your head, for the Lord has rejected those you trust.”

O Lord, let me be willing to be humbled. Let me be quick to see the pride of my ways. Let my life, my heart and mind changed by relationship with You, stand in stark contrast to our culture’s worship of self. Let me admit my own weakness and lay down my insistence upon relying upon what cannot be trusted.

 

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