The life of a prophet was rough! They were often called to bring news of judgment to the people of a nation, and their messages were often aimed directly at those in power. The people of Jeremiah’s day had turned from the true and living God to the very idols that they had been warned to avoid. To make matters worse, it was the political and religious leaders that had led the people astray.
The people had not only forsaken their God, they had turned to things that promised peace, prosperity, and satisfaction but could never deliver as only God could. Further, when trouble threatened, they did not turn to God in repentance, but looked to fruitless political alliances for help instead of to the God who had rescued them from captivity in Egypt. It is in this environment that Jeremiah was called to bring a message of coming judgment and exile.
If truth be told, we have all turned to things that promised peace, prosperity, or satisfaction to try to quench our thirst for significance, happiness, or pleasure instead of to the living God. We have often looked to the things of this world to deal with our troubled hearts instead of to the God of unrelenting love.
It is to this God and His coming Kingdom that Paul reminds the sometimes timid Timothy and us to remember: “Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel for which I am suffering” (2 Timothy 2:8).
As I encounter the troubles, temptations, and failures in my own life, I am frequently reminded of passages like this that lift my eyes from my own striving and point me to the source of true satisfaction, “The Lord Our Righteous Savior” (Jeremiah 23:6b). My righteousness will never do; my hope can only be in the true righteous King, the One who purchased my righteousness through His death and guarantees my inheritance in His resurrection. He is the One who will usher in the true Kingdom of justice and righteousness in which my true home and longing is fulfilled.
- How have you been tempted to look to other things besides Christ for your satisfaction or righteousness?
In what way have you learned to trust in the righteousness of God?
written by Jeff Hoffman