Jeremiah Devotions #8: Amend Your Ways
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah Chapters 25-28.
“Now therefore, amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the Lord your God; then the Lord will relent concerning the doom that He has pronounced against you.” (Jeremiah 26:13).
All throughout the Book of Jeremiah, the Lord is crying out to His people to repent. Because He is a just God, if they continue in their sin, He must punish them. But because He is gracious and compassion, rich in mercy and full of love, He would rather they turned from their sins so He could forgive and heal them. So in this prophecy, the Lord speaks through Jeremiah, calling His people to do two things: To amend their ways and doings (they were doing things their way, the wrong way, instead of God’s way), and to obey the voice of the Lord. He told them that if they would simply repent, confess their sins to Him, He would forgive them, cleanse them from their unrighteousness, and relent concerning His judgment towards them. Sadly though, they did not change their ways.
The story of the children of Israel and Judah is an instructive one for us. We know that all Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable to teach us how to live, and in many instances, we can learn from the mistakes of other men and women of God. Our God is still a holy and just God who calls us to live righteousness, but He also knows that apart from His grace and strength we cannot. But if we abide in Jesus, and rely upon His strength, then we can walk in obedience to His words and ways. Not perfectly. We will stumble and fall and miss the mark. But when we do, we need to be quick to repent, and in so doing, we can avoid some of the negative consequences that come along with sin and rebellion.
Lord, I’m so thankful for the picture the Old Testament prophets paint of you. That, even as you pronounced judgement upon them for their sins, “your hand is outstretched still.” That means that you continuously had a heart to save, forgive, heal and restore them. In the same way, I am thankful that you love me today, and that when I sin, and I confess my sins to you, I can be forgiven and washed and cleansed from all unrighteousness. Help us as your people to stay close to you, and daily experience your loving grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.