Scripture Nugget 5.12.2017
Scripture Read Jeremiah 32-36
Nugget Jeremiah 34:12-22
“The word of the LORD came to Jeremiah from the LORD: Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel: I myself made a covenant with your ancestors when I brought them out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery, saying, ‘Every seventh year each of you must set free any Hebrews who have been sold to you and have served you six years; you must set them free from your service.’ But your ancestors did not listen to me or incline their ears to me. You yourselves recently repented and did what was right in my sight by proclaiming liberty to one another, and you made a covenant before me in the house that is called by my name; but then you turned around and profaned my name when each of you took back your male and female slaves, whom you had set free according to their desire, and you brought them again into subjection to be your slaves. Therefore, thus says the LORD: You have not obeyed me by granting a release to your neighbors and friends; I am going to grant a release to you, says the LORD – a release to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine. I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth. And those who transgressed my covenant and did not keep the terms of the covenant that they made before me, I will make like the calf when they cut it in two and passed between its parts: the officials of Judah, the officials of Jerusalem, the eunuchs, the priests, and all the people of the land who passed between the parts of the calf shall be handed over to their enemies and those who seek their lives. Their corpses shall become food for the birds of the air and the wild animals of the earth. And as for King Zedekiah of Judah and his officials, I will hand them over to their enemies and to those who seek their lives, to the army of the king of Babylon, which has withdrawn from you. I am going to command, says the LORD, and will bring them back to this city; and they will fight against it, and take it, and burn it with fire. The towns of Judah I will make a desolation without inhabitant.”
Devotional Thought: Entering covenant with God is serious business! God keeps His side of the covenants He enters; why do we think there will be no negative consequences and can get away with breaking covenants made with God and with each other in God’s presence? Serious consequences came about when Covenants were broken. They became like the two halves of the sacrificed animal that they passed between while making the covenant. “Wesley comments, ‘God should cut them in pieces like the beast if they did not make their words good,’ a statement that reminds us that words mean little if corresponding action is not applied (Notes, 34:18). (Wesley Study Bible, pg 946) God keeps His promises, God expects me/you/us to keep ours. There are consequences to breaking covenants – why are we surprised by this? Why are we surprised that God would get angry when we break a covenant, when we worship other gods, when we sin against God and others? Thanks be to God for grace! But don’t think for a minute that grace is cheap or free. Repentance, turning away from sin and to God is required; turning away from God to return to repeat sin negates all that proceeding – it is a breaking of covenant. Which half of the sacrificed animal do you wish to be identifies with? For me, I desire to identify with Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice. O that I always turn to Him and not return to my sin.