Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rest for our souls

I'm a Christian hedonist so you'd expect me to see this verse, Jeremiah 6:10, jumping off the page into my life (that'll be the word: "pleasure")
To whom can I speak and give warning?
Who will listen to me?
Their ears are closed
so they cannot hear.
The word of the LORD is offensive to them;
they find no pleasure in it.
God speaks through Jeremiah to his people. Jeremiah has been told that God's words are able to destroy and plant nations. And yet, as he seeks to speak to the people he finds no audience. He ponders, who can he speak to? Roger Carswell says evangelism is speaking the gospel to non-christians who are listening and by that definition Jeremiah is being thwarted. Why? Because the ears of the people are closed and unhearing. Blocked up by sin. And so here is the verdict that they refuse to hear: The word of the LORD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it.

The destructive and life-giving word should be beautiful to man and yet it offends, it should delight us and yet many find no pleasure in it. What should taste of life taste of death. We see this supremely as Jesus is on the cross. The Cross-word is one that should show us the pleasure of God as the Son is punished for the sins of his people. It towers and the most precious and beautiful event ever to have occured. And yet to so many it is outright offensive or unimaginably irrelevant. When that word is rejected what can do but pour out wrath (Jeremiah 6:11)?

Yet still he pleads for us to come to him. He is pleased to reveal himself.
This is what the LORD says:
"Stand at the crossroads and look;
ask for the ancient paths,
ask where the good way is, and walk in it,
and you will find rest for your souls.
But you said, 'We will not walk in it.'
Rest that is found in Jesus (Jeremiah 6:16 & Matthew 11:29). The word of the cross tastes sweeter than honey to the believer, delighted by the word.

For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live...
O that mankind might taste and see the riches of His grace!

1 comment:

  1. An interesting reading of Jeremia...Sometimes i think that Old testament lyrism is so intimate and personal and at the same time collectively interpreted..So God lies where? Somewhere in the middle? Or above all of that? Resting inside, or revealed through the others?
    Jeremias laments, the lost holy city, our exile of love paradise, of purity and inspiration.... us, the others, me , you, him , her, they....alienation and confusion...