Jeremiah vividly portrays the nearly total apostasy, wickedness, and backsliding of God’s chosen people. God led them through the wilderness, protecting and providing for them throughout their journey, where they saw miracles and wonders over those 40 years. Yet, God asked what happened that led them to follow worthless idols (Jeremiah 2:1-19). They didn’t 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 ravines, a land of drought and utter darkness, a land where no one travels, and no one lives?” (Jeremiah 2: 5-6). Even today, God asks the same question. Why, despite knowing Him, do we practice idolatry in the form of materialism, sensuality, ego, and vanity? The Israelites paid a huge price for forsaking God. Despite seeking futile alliances with their enemies, they were eventually captured and enslaved; “Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the LORD your God and have no awe of me” (Jeremiah 2:19). The Israelites needed to come back to God because He was their only steadfast protector and sustainer.
The experience of the Israelites teaches us that Jesus Christ is the fountain of abundant hope. God has revealed Himself to us through His Word (2 Timothy 3: 16 -17). We should keep the scriptures very close to our hearts. The Israelites had many false prophets who misled them into catastrophe, just like we do today. To avoid being misled, know the scriptures. Let us be like Job, whose reliance on God’s word saw him stand firm through extremely challenging trials and temptations (Job 23:12).
Are we clinging to idols in our lives? Lean on scripture and realize that Jesus Christ is the fountain of hope and offers salvation to all who believe in His Name. He promises life in abundance.
Dear LORD, I pray for diligence and commitment to reading, studying, and meditating on Your Word and applying it in my life. Amen.