Keeping Our Hearts Fresh with God-Jeremiah 2:2-8

Jeremiah 2:2-8 “The word of the Lord came to me: 2 “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:”‘ I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert, through a land not sown. 3 Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest; all who devoured her were held guilty, and disaster overtook them,'” declares the Lord. 4 Hear the word of the Lord, O house of Jacob, all you clans of the house of Israel. 5 This is what the Lord says: “What fault did your fathers find in me, that they strayed so far from me? They followed worthless idols and became worthless themselves. 6 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 rifts, a land of drought and darkness, a land where no one travels and no one lives?’ 7 I brought you into a fertile land to eat its fruit and rich produce. But you came and defiled my land and made my inheritance detestable. 8 The priests did not ask,’ Where is the Lord?’ Those who deal with the law did not know me; the leaders rebelled against me. The prophets prophesied by Baal, following worthless idols.”
Geremia 2:2-8 «Va’, e grida alle orecchie di Gerusalemme: “Così dice il Signore: ‘Io mi ricordo dell’affetto che avevi per me quando eri giovane, del tuo amore da fidanzata, quando mi seguivi nel deserto, in una terra non seminata. 3 Israele era consacrato al Signore, egli era le primizie della sua rendita; tutti quelli che lo divoravano si rendevano colpevoli e la calamità piombava su di loro’”», dice il Signore. 4 Ascoltate la parola del Signore, o casa di Giacobbe, e voi tutte le famiglie della casa d’Israele! 5 Così parla il Signore: «Quale iniquità hanno trovato i vostri padri in me, che si sono allontanati da me e sono andati dietro alla vanità, e sono diventati essi stessi vanità? 6 Essi non hanno detto: “Dov’è il Signore che ci ha fatto uscire dal paese d’Egitto, che ci ha condotti per il deserto, per un paese di solitudine e di crepacci, per un paese di siccità e di ombra di morte, per un paese per il quale nessuno passò mai e dove non abitò mai nessuno?” 7 Io vi ho condotti in un paese che è un frutteto, perché ne mangiaste i frutti e i buoni prodotti; ma voi, quando vi siete entrati, avete contaminato il mio paese e avete fatto della mia eredità un’abominazione. 8 Non hanno detto i sacerdoti: “Dov’è il Signore?” I depositari della legge non mi hanno conosciuto, i pastori mi sono stati infedeli, i profeti hanno profetizzato nel nome di Baal e sono andati dietro a cose che non giovano a nulla.”
     Jeremiah paints a picture of Israel as a young nation that totally depended on God. But over time, their devotion to God waned. There were many kings in the Old Testament who started well but didn’t finish well. If the life of the king was good, so was the nation. But if the king was evil, the nation also became evil. The reasons for Israel’s departure are listed and are no different for us today. In our life also, we will either become stronger in our relationship with God or weaker. If the things of God moved us in former days but no longer have that same effect now…what happened?
     First, Jeremiah goes back to the time of Exodus. Israel murmured against God for sending them into the wilderness. They would not put their trust in God to see the end of the journey. Second, they were ungrateful for what God did for them. Israel was God’s first fruits of the harvest and He protected them on numerous occasions but their memory was short-lived. Third, because of their murmuring and ungratefulness, they disobeyed the commands of the Lord and chose what seemed appetizing to their eyes. Other nations around them all worshiped idols and false gods; the attraction to be like them enticed Israel’s leaders and subsequently, the nation. Jeremiah gives us a short summary of Israel’s wandering away from God. These verses and a companion verse from Hebrews 10:39 should admonish us in our own spiritual journey: “But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.”
Pray with me: Lord, over time my spiritual life can become stale if I don’t continue to nourish it with the things of God. Help me to be on guard against murmuring, ingratitude and the false sense of security from the distractions in this world.

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