A Daily Dose of Good News
Friday, June 19, 2020
At 10:30 today, this devotional will be offered online at https://youtu.be/nNksHC0bsVM
For a printer-friendly version of today’s devotion, please click DDGN 20200619
Good morning everybody! It is June 19 and our time for the Daily Dose of Good News. So today I’m reading from Jeremiah 18:18-23.
Then they said, “Come, let us make plots against Jeremiah—for instruction shall not perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, let us bring charges against him, and let us not heed any of his words.”
Give heed to me, O Lord,
and listen to what my adversaries say!
Is evil a recompense for good?
Yet they have dug a pit for my life.
Remember how I stood before you
to speak good for them,
to turn away your wrath from them.
Therefore give their children over to famine;
hurl them out to the power of the sword,
let their wives become childless and widowed.
May their men meet death by pestilence,
their youths be slain by the sword in battle.
May a cry be heard from their houses,
when you bring the marauder suddenly upon them!
For they have dug a pit to catch me,
and laid snares for my feet.
Yet you, O Lord, know
all their plotting to kill me.
Do not forgive their iniquity,
do not blot out their sin from your sight.
Let them be tripped up before you;
deal with them while you are angry.
Here ends the reading.
I will admit, when I glanced at that text last night, before bed, so I would know what I was talking about today, I burst out laughing. (Laughs). Which maybe seems like a strange response to such anger, and blatant wishing for violence to befall someone else. Because Jeremiah the prophet has been wronged! Grievously wronged! And Jeremiah is upset about it.
But it made me laugh, and it made me think: Jeremiah is talking to God like God is his best friend and just venting and letting it all out. And it’s harsh. It’s also really honest. I think sometimes we hesitate to come before God with our honest anger. Our honest desire for righteousness to be done. There are times when we are wronged by others, and it’s hard! So, I laughed when I read that, because I thought Jeremiah feels pretty comfortable with God, that Jeremiah can just let loose and can say whatever Jeremiah needs to say, even if it’s harsh and ugly and embarrassing or whatever. That’s great. It’s great to have that kind of relationship with God. So, I did my own exercise this morning. I thought about a way I’ve been wronged, and I did my own Jeremiah 18:18-23. I was really surprised that I found it really helpful, to let loose, and say things that, oh my gosh, they’re not nice. But it felt good because part of what I think the process does, is it untangles us, from what feels like maybe ropes, that bind us, in our frustration and in our anger, which turns to bitterness and resentfulness, and all those things. I found in the exercise, that it unties that, unbinds that, and it lays that rope at the feet of God. It is relieving.
I think the second portion, is all those phrases of: let these awful things happen to them. There’s some component of recognizing that God is all powerful and that God will deal with it. In whatever way God seeks justice. That God is on our side and God has our backs and God will do it. So, we don’t need to be tied up with all that stuff! We can just let it out, bring it before God, leave it at God’s feet, and let God take it from there- trusting that God will! And trusting that God knows everything, knows what’s deserved, and what should occur and what shouldn’t occur. Because God has it all in perspective and knows way more than we do. So, something to think about for today. If you want to join me in writing for Jeremiah, writing for yourself, you don’t have to show anybody, it’s just between you and God. But it’s a chance to bring all of our feelings before God and it’s a pleasant things to do. I think it’s a relationship building exercise with God. So, enjoy the day everybody! Take care. Bye-bye.