August 20

Jeremiah 1:6-10

“See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” vs. 10

Jeremiah’s boyhood commission likely made a huge impression on him. He believed that the Lord had put words in his mouth and from that point on he devoted himself to bringing that message to whomever would listen…and even those who wouldn’t! There was a tough principle at the core of what he had to say and it wasn’t designed to make people feel good. He told the people of Jerusalem that the nation would be destroyed and overthrown…the temple and religious institutions would be pulled down. Jeremiah was remembered for that doom and gloom…but that wasn’t all he had to say…he also talked about building and planting. There would be a new covenant and a restored relationship with God. We see that sort of thing played out again and again in history. The people of God regularly go astray…their intentions are flawed and their institutions become corrupt. Continuing to build God’s peaceable kingdom often means that old ways must first be destroyed. Old traditions, rituals, and practices will need to disappear before growth can continue. Such transitions are never pleasant…the Jeremiahs who lead the way will be scorned and ignored. But God is at work in the rubble and soon green shoots will be seen, there’ll be a new beginning, and glimpses of the kingdom will abound.

Thought for the Day: What words has God put in my mouth?

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