If you check in regularly, my annual read-through of the Bible has me in Jeremiah lately. I am also enjoying the summer study of Nehemiah with Kelly Minter that Lifeway is offering.
It is an interesting contrast and compliment to each other this week as Jeremiah is warning the people about the coming exile for their disobedience and Nehemiah is obediently returning after the 70 plus years to help rebuild the wall around Jerusalem.
Disobedience and obedience. Warnings with promises. The people who were exiled and the ones who got called back after the exile. It is so clear that obedience paves the way to better living and not because God is full of ego and rewards us if we do things His way.
No, it is that His way is better and in obedience our lives will be better. He isn’t asking us to do things because He likes to boss us around. He is telling us how to live because He knows what is best.
As a parent and grandparent I can understand this so well. But I am also a child and often I want to do things my way. Often I think I know best; or at least what is in my best interest. And that is just the thing.
Children, and we all are children, will choose the easiest, most appealing to their way of thinking, methods for doing all things. And if you have ever spent more than ten minutes trying to corral children, you know this is never a good or “successful for the majority and well-being of everyone including the child” plan.
It is so easy to see willfulness and stubbornness in others but not ourselves. That is one of the things I love about reading through the Bible each year. God doesn’t sugar-coat His story. All the characters that make up His-story are flawed and have baggage.
God’s Word is a constant cycle of our sin and rebellion, His grace, our repentance, His restoration. The pattern exists in ever decade of history, every society, every human. Over and over.
Sin – separation – mercy – grace – conviction – repentance – forgiveness – restoration.
What are you reading in God’s Word lately that speaks to you right where you are ?