Devotion – June 27-29, 2017

But the Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten. O Lord of hosts, who tests the righteous, who sees the heart and the mind, let me see your vengeance upon them, for to you have I committed my cause.        Jeremiah 20:11-12                                                       

The Weeping Prophet

One of my favorite characters from Winnie the Pooh is the donkey, Eeyore. He’s a big sad-sack, and everything is glum for him. No matter what good things happen to him, he is always sure they will turn out poorly. On the other hand, when bad things happen, he doesn’t let that drive him deeper into depression. He always expects things to be bad.

You might know someone who’s constantly sad, like Eeyore. Sometimes it’s because people have a negative outlook on life, but other times it’s because terrible things keep happening. That’s the case with the prophet, Jeremiah. He’s sometimes called the weeping prophet, because everything that could go wrong does go wrong for him.

God sends Jeremiah to preach to the people of Israel, but the message is a terrible one. Jerusalem will be overthrown. Can you imagine having to tell everyone that kind of news! Not only did Jeremiah have to deliver the bad news, but the people hated Jeremiah for it. They threatened him. They imprisoned him. They even tried to kill him.

In Jeremiah 20, the prophet speaks about the persecution he faces. Everyone is out to get him. Everyone is threatening him. But, he has hope. It’s not because he thinks he’s going to figure a way to make everyone like him. It’s because God is on his side.

Jeremiah says, “But the Lord is with me as a dread warrior; therefore my persecutors will stumble; they will not overcome me. They will be greatly shamed, for they will not succeed. Their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.” Jeremiah knows that God’s people are vindicated by God in the end. No matter what people do to us, God vindicates us in the end.

We see this best in Jesus. God sent him not to give the world bad news but good news. He proclaimed the kingdom of God to the whole world. It wasn’t like Jeremiah, who preached the downfall of everything the hearers held dear. Jesus proclaimed God’s love. But he was persecuted, hated, judged, and executed for it. Yet, God was with him as a dread warrior. He caused their plans to fail when he raised Jesus from the dead.

That’s the promise that God gives us, too. No matter what happens to us, God is with us as a dread warrior. He causes the plans of the world and the devil to fail. We know that God will raise us from the dead on the last day.

Our Weekly Prayer: Heavenly Father, You are with us as a warrior to deliver us from evil. Cause us to be faithful to you, knowing that our lives are safe in Christ. Teach us to always follow Jesus in our love for you and for each other. Through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen