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Jeremiah 10:23-25(CEB)

 23 I know, Lord, that our lives are not our own,
    that we’re not able to direct our paths.
24 So correct me, Lord, but with justice,
    not in your anger,
        or else you will reduce me to nothing.
25 Pour out your wrath on the nations
        that ignore you
    and on the people
        who don’t call on you,
        since they have devoured Jacob;
        they have devoured him completely
            and ruined his country.


I have always had more difficulty with the Old Testament – all of the begats and judges, kings, territories, etc. I have a really hard time keeping track of all of those details, which can be important to those historical stories. I guess since I am the only one with an Old Testament scripture this week, that is my direction to pay better attention and do a better job looking at the Old Testament.

Verses 23 and 24 have a prayer for God to take over and redirect, to do a course correct, but not in a harsh way. However, verse 25 is asking God to bring the wrath and destroy others – no gentle course correct there. Do we ever think like that? I will admit when there are times when I really think I am being great – being diligent for God, helping others, my beliefs are the right ones and I have an open mind about others’ beliefs, and I am probably being a really good Christian. I think God is probably really happy with me. Sure, there are a couple of things that need to be tweaked in my life, but God can do that easily (if I allow God to point those out and do it). At these same times (and others) I can think, wow – what is wrong with that person or group of people– can’t they see how wrong they are – that what they are professing is just horrible and someone should put an end to it? Maybe God – maybe God should just put them in their place and give them what they need to get “fixed.”  Or I will sometimes think to myself – “if I was in charge, things would be different – I might even think about changing things so people don’t have their free will and would just have to shape up!” But of course, I am not in charge, and God is much better dealing with people than I would ever be! Our Dad used to say, “you should never hate someone because that is wishing them dead.” Is that where we are? I am sure most of us don’t wish people dead, but we certainly can get to a point where we don’t want them in our lives in any way, shape, or form! And don’t get me wrong – we aren’t talking about people who really shouldn’t be in our lives because of physical danger etc. In this context I am talking about those who don’t believe or behave as I might – whether Christian or not.

Our sister has a magnet on her fridge – Jesus loves you, but I’m his favorite! We know that is not the case, but we sometimes like to think that way, even though God uses us for different things in ministry, we are all loved equally, and Jesus came and died for ALL of us – the good, the bad, and the ugly as they say! When we start thinking that we are doing a great job being a Christian and others around us are lacking – whether Christian or not, we really do need a redirect. We can get a bit too full of ourselves with our good deeds and our “holiness.” As verse 23 points out we should always have God directing our ways. As we talk about lament and as Wednesday’s devotion by Joe and Kate pointed out, we can have regret about any number of things we do – good or bad, right or wrong. Another of the devotions pointed out – “I’m really not that great”! As Pastor Carll pointed out on Sunday, we need to bring it all to God to help us draw closer to God. God will give us rest from our attempts to direct others – we have enough to do with ourselves! Just a note – if you haven’t checked out the daily devotion at 7am or later in the day on Facebook, please do so – it has been a great way to start the day and has been a real blessing!

For Pondering & Prayer


When do we feel like we deserve better treatment from God than others do? Maybe after we have been through something really difficult or in a season when we feel we are being really “good”? We are human and so we will have these feelings, but when we do, we need that gentle course correction from God to know that we are ALL children of God, and we are ALL worthy of salvation and the love that God gives us – not because of who we are, but because of who God is.

Prayer: Dear God, help us to remember that you are God of and for ALL, and Jesus came to save us ALL – no exceptions. Help us to find comfort, not malice in this thought, and to be thankful for ALL you have given us. Help us to turn to you for redirection at every step along our path. Amen.