A Voice in the
June 21, 1998
re: Why? Why?
As I was queuing this week-end's mailing, I realized that both the Morsel and Matthew studies were shorter than normal. Perhaps I should leave well enough alone, to balance out some weeks where there's quite a bit of stuff, since it's summer. But then I remembered that something stood out to me in my reading this past week in Jeremiah, which I had forgotten about, with all the writing ahead in Matthew that was going on this past week. So, if you will indulge me a bit, while I "talk" with you a bit informally, here.
In chapter 12 Jeremiah communes with God about much the same things that many of us do in these days of apostasy. "Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why are those happy who deal so treacherously? Lord, you have allowed them to thrive; they claim to have fellowship with You with their mouths, but their minds are far from You. Why? Why? Why?"
Furthermore, I've been faithful. Lord, why don't You just take them and wipe them off the face of the planet? How long must nature "suffer" under the cruelties? There's cruelty to animals. The earth is polluted. They just don't seem to care. There's murder, rape, shootings and killings every day, it seems, in my town. They don't seem to know that You see them. (a "rough" paraphrase of vs. 1-4)
And so God responds, "Oh, quite right you are, Jeremiah. Things are really rough, aren't they. I guess, perhaps I should start bringing to a close some of My plans for all this. Thanks for reminding Me."
Uh, no! Not hardly! It's more like, "Hey, dude! Chin up! If you can't handle the "little" stuff like it is now, what are you going to do when it REALLY starts getting bad?" (vs5)
Ok, now! Be on the alert. Your family is after you. They think you've gone off the deep end with all this preaching of gloom and doom, and need institutionalizing. So, they're going to try to lure you back home. They're going to pretend to be all "lovey dovey." But don't trust them. (vs6) Remember how [I] called you to be My prophet.(Jer1:5-10) By the way, this is what Jesus' "family" tried with Him. Check out Mark 3:21,31-35.
Now, we might individually take this verse to heart for various reasons. For you who know a bit about my life and unequal yoke who left, before she did the divorce "thing" I still "trusted" the in-laws a bit too much. ('always been more trusting of people than I should be) The Lord brought this verse to my attention at that time. And in the end, it turned out to be good wisdom.
In a spiritual sense, as many of us have come out of the organized "church" there might be periods of time of wanting to trust those old associations. They call themselves our "brothers" and "sisters." They try to claim that you are still "part of" them. And if you say to them that you are NOT their "brother" they will "lovingly" say that, well, they will still keep calling you THEIR "brother." (So "big" of them!) And yes, from the pastor and leadership-on down, they will pull all sorts of shenanigans as they "speak smooth words to you." But God exhorts..."do NOT believe them."(vs6)
After many years of being associated with the "organization" it feels somehow "wrong" to make that distance with them, doesn't it. To sever ties. But remember how God called you out with Rev 18:4 "Come out of her, my people.." Well, here God says, "I have forsaken My house, I have left my heritage..."(vs7) While there is bewilderment with many questions "why? why? why?" ...we cannot very well remain in something that God has distanced Himself from, now, can we..!
What is the condition of it? "Many rulers [shepherds or pastors] have destroyed My vineyard, they have trodden My portion underfoot; They have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness."(vs10)
The "organization" is ruined. It is utterly laid waste and destroyed. And who did it? The pastors! Remember, they are "wolves in sheep's clothing." (Acts 20:29-30, Mt7:15) What have they been producing all this time? Little "lambs?" No! Wolf pups.
But be assured...God will have His say. "The sword of the Lord shall devour.."(vs12) As He "pluck[s]" them out.(vs14)
However until the very end, with God, there is ALWAYS the "Mercy Option." He always gives the option for the rebellious one to repent. "If they will diligently learn the ways of My people to swear by My name 'As the LORD lives' then they shall be established..."(vs16) But if they refuse...their judgement will be full and complete.(vs17)
While I realize this mailing list includes a "mixed multitude"(Ex12:38, Num11:4), I am addressing, specifically, you who are True Believers in Jesus Christ with Paul's words...
"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong...be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."(1Cor16:13,15:58)