Posted by: pmarkrobb | August 25, 2013

first-person possession

We’ve spent the majority of the past three weeks in the book of Jeremiah in the Journey onWord weekly Bible reading schedule.  In many ways I’ve found Jeremiah to be a difficult book to read.  I desire for things in my own life to be harmonious and tranquil, and this book has stirred up so much.  The revealing light cast on my own rebellion, and the truth of what God’s justice demands, created a strong sense of tension and unsettledness as I read.  I can too often read the Bible in the third-person and be so quick to judge the disciples for being so petty and clueless; the Pharisees for being so blind and hard-hearted; the nation of Israel for being so ungrateful and idolatrous.  And then there are times like Jeremiah has been for me, when I become immersed in the first-person implications of the fierce and tender love story we call “The Bible.”

Oh, how I haven’t the first clue of what God’s just nature demands.  Oh, the visceral illustration of the place my own sin and rebellion puts me in as I read God’s narrative to, and through the prophet Jeremiah.  Oh, the comfort in living and serving that has weakened my kingdom muscle.

I sit amongst the rightly judged nation.  I’ve caused the pain in Jeremiah’s tears.  The sin of the ancient’s is repeated as I turn from the occasions of God’s deliverance in my own life and construct idols and become impatient with where He has chosen to lead me.

All this threatened to be the final word in “closing the book” on the last chapter of Jeremiah, but God had other plans.  Into the deep hole of personal judgement, God whispered the truth that broke the darkness with the brilliant dawn of hope. The hope for restoration that begins chapter 31 is a forward promise to the ancient’s, but is a very present possession of mine.  God’s justice demands my life, and that is exactly what Jesus has already ransomed with His death on the Cross and resurrection on the third day.  Christ chose the Cross and the incalculable suffering of separation from the Father to answer the demands of God’s justice in my life and yours.

Oh, the judgment in third-person consumption, but oh, the joy in first-person possession!  As we journey forward in this fierce and tender love story, which will you choose?


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