Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jeremiah questions

Jeremiah was a brave man. I'm not at all sure I'm like him.
In Judah, in Jeremiah’s time, there were two rival views of God’s relation to His people.
The first was certain that God would protect and champion His people no matter what. Had God not made promises to David and Solomon? Their house (dynasty) would not fail and God’s house (temple) would stand forever as a sign of this protection. Scribes, psalmists, even prophets, had expressed this belief in their writings. Judah’s rulers promoted it.
By Jeremiah’s day it was seen as treason to contradict it.
But Jeremiah stood against this view. Standing in a prophetic tradition that went back to Moses, he insisted that what counted was faithfulness to God expressed in lives of justice.
It was no good quoting the bible’s promises or relying on systems of worship if God’s heart was being ignored. Bravely, Jeremiah stood in the temple itself to declare this.
Jesus stood in the same prophetic tradition. In His day, He also stood in the temple, quoting Jeremiah as He condemned it as having come to stand for a false, even idolatrous, security for Israel. This was a key reason He was sent to His death.
Ironically, through that very death, Jesus was also the fulfilment of the promises made through David and Solomon: in His resurrection and ascension, He founded a house – His church – that would endure forever.
As so often with the bible I'm left asking myself some searching questions.
 In what ways might we misuse the bible to back up our wrong or self-seeking views?
What have we built - literally or theologically - that God may need to dismantle? Am I prepared to put radical trust of God ahead of even those things I and others have built in what we thought was faithfulness?
How can we express God’s heart for justice today in a way that cuts through all my and our and your agendas and reaches the real thing?
God help me be more like brave, prophetic, heretical, traitorous, faithful Jeremiah.


Lee F said...

I am not sure about you been like Jeremiah but maybe start with little things like answering your phone.

n0rma1 said...

Ah, Lee, it's a fair cop.