Jack Frost paid us a visit last night! Here in FL, we get a few days of winter each year, but usually it doesn't get this cold this early. I have to say though, it is a nice break from the 90 degree weather we were having only a week or so ago!
Today's passage in Jeremiah 8, the Lord is repeating some of his statements from Chapter 6 - to me, this shows that he says what he means, and means what he says!
8: 10 - 13 - "Therefore I will give their wives to other men and thier fields to new owners. From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. "Peace, peace", they say, when there is no peace.
Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the Lord.
I will take away their harvest, declares the Lord. There will be no grapes on the vine. There will be no figs on the tree, and their leaves will wither. What I have given them will be taken from them".
This whole passage speaks of economic disasters as part of the judgments against the people for their sinful ways.
Once again, he reiterates how greed has taken over them, and I find it amazing how he says that the leaders "dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious"; that's how this whole "bail out" by Congress seems to me. Everyone is in line now, wanting a hand out for fear that their businesses will collapse otherwise. Well when and where do you draw the line?
The ones who raked in millions of dollars each year, and the lack of oversight by our elected leaders, have gotten us into this mess, and the way they are handling it all, seems like they are trying to put a band-aid on a gaping wound.
He also repeats his warnings to us about those who say "peace, peace" - and promise us that it is near. We are in sad shape, if we believe that all our problems will be solved just because a new President who says he is going to change things and bring peace to us, is the solution to the problems we are all facing as a nation.
It is our duty as believers, to pray for our leaders - for those in authority over us. We need to pray that they will seek God for his wisdom to lead our country, and not trust in their own capabilities.
Here are a few passages that tell us where our hope and our trust should be, if we want to have real peace, that can only be found in God, through Christ Jesus.
Psalm 49:5-6 "Why should I fear when evil days come; when wicked deceivers surround me - those who trust in their wealth and boast of their great riches? 12 -13 - "But man, despite his riches, does not endure; he is like the beasts that perish. This is the fate of those who trust in themselves, and of their followers, who approve their sayings".
Psalm 62: 8 - "Trust in Him(God) at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge".
Psalm 188:8 - 9 - "It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes".
Proverbs 3: 5 - 6 is one of my favorite passages, and one I memorized early in life - "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don't lean on your own understanding. In ALL your ways, acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight".
And finally, look at how the Lord details out for us in Psalm 146, how He will take care of those who belong to him -
"Praise the Lord. Praise the Lord, O my soul.
I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
Do not put your trust in princes, in mortal men, who cannot save.
When their spirit departs, they return to the ground; on that very day their plans come to nothing.
Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them - the Lord, who remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the righteous.
The Lord watches over the alien, and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.
The Lord reigns forever, your God, O Zion, for all generations.
Praise the Lord."
One needs not fear all the chaos that we see all around us - we can have peace in the midst of it all, and that peace is found only in Jesus. He tells us in John 14:27 - "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid".
Imagine having peace in our life, as Jesus had, knowing what he would suffer - he kept his focus on the Father, and now offers us this same peace. It's so powerful, it's something that we as humans, can't hardly wrap our brains around; it all comes back to faith and trust. We are to take him at his word, and he will fulfill the promises in his word to us.
I close today, with the words of a beautiful old hymn:
"Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in his wonderful face
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim
In the light of his glory and grace"
Have a blessed Wednesday...