Friday, December 5, 2014

Jeremiah's Contemporary Application

Jeremiah never really captured my attention in the past, except for the handful of verses (particularly Jeremiah 29:11) that I'd cherry-pick, wrench out of context and misapply as a personal promise. Actually, I'd spent decades reading the entire Bible in such a piecemeal fashion, bored with the history of Israel to such an extent that I had little interest in the prophets unless I could find verses or passages that offered me comfort or encouragement. In other words, I concocted a theology that, though I never would have admitted it, pretty much revolved around me.

I'll reserve a discussion on whether or not I lived as a false convert for another time. Regardless of  how genuine my salvation may or may not have been, I can testify that I now read the Bible much more honestly, making logical connections between history and doctrine. (Having majored in English Literature, I should have known  better.)

Anyway, I've been reading Jeremiah this week. I've only gotten through the first three chapters because I've taken so many notes. This book has captured my attention! And, as I read, I believe the Holy Spirit shows me more appropriate applications that I made in my cherry-picking days.

For example, this morning I worked through Chapter 3, in which the Lord lamented Israel and Judah's unfaithfulness to Him. In addition to applying the verses to my personal walk with Him by understanding the dangers of falling into false doctrine and idolatry, I also thought about how the professing church keeps flirting with other spiritual disciplines, sinful practices and quirky teachings, expecting the Lord to take them back without demanding repentance.
“If a man divorces his wife
    and she goes from him
and becomes another man's wife,
    will he return to her?
Would not that land be greatly polluted?
You have played the whore with many lovers;
    and would you return to me?
declares the Lord.
Lift up your eyes to the bare heights, and see!
    Where have you not been ravished?
By the waysides you have sat awaiting lovers
    like an Arab in the wilderness.
You have polluted the land
    with your vile whoredom.
Therefore the showers have been withheld,
    and the spring rain has not come;
yet you have the forehead of a whore;
    you refuse to be ashamed.
Have you not just now called to me,
    ‘My father, you are the friend of my youth—
will he be angry forever,
    will he be indignant to the end?’
Behold, you have spoken,
    but you have done all the evil that you could.” ~~Jeremiah 3:1-5 (ESV)
Jeremiah's immediate purpose, of course, was to indict Judah and therefore establish God's justice in punishing them through the Babylonian Captivity. But since His dealings with Israel and Judah serve as examples to the Church (1 Corinthians 10:6), we need to consider the ways that we commit spiritual adultery.

Tomorrow and Monday, I plan to revisit the topic of "Holy Yoga" as an example of spiritual adultery in the 21st Century professing church. Certainly, other pollutions also plague the church, and I hope to address them as best I can. Yoga among those who claim to belong to Christ sure ties in with Jeremiah 3! Like faithless Judah, today's church stubbornly dabbles with false spirituality, making careful study of Jeremiah both relevant and essential.

1 comment:

  1. The book Jeremiah has a lot to say to this generation. As I get older I realize more and more that the good things I wanted to apply to myself apply to Christ and only to me in that I am in Christ, and the corrections and problems and sins are the only parts I can truly take the credit for...going from milk to meat.

    True about yoga and mysticism, a poor copy (replacement?) for true light...and cannot be mixed into the holy without making a filthy mess of the true gospel. From what I perceive in the world and in the "visible church" (not all in "the church" are born of the Spirit) the return of Christ is very soon...but that other one has yet to make his appearance....and maybe a 3rd temple? Would like to know your thoughts on that DebbieLynne :)

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