Saturday, August 02, 2003

Edifier du Jour-Jeremiah 15:15-21
15 You who know, O LORD, Remember me, take notice of me, And take vengeance for me on my persecutors. Do not, in view of Your patience, take me away; Know that for Your sake I endure reproach. 16 Your words were found and I ate them, And Your words became for me a joy and the delight of my heart; For I have been called by Your name, O LORD God of hosts. 17 I did not sit in the circle of merrymakers, Nor did I exult. Because of Your hand upon me I sat alone, For You filled me with indignation. 18 Why has my pain been perpetual And my wound incurable, refusing to be healed? Will You indeed be to me like a deceptive stream With water that is unreliable? 19 Therefore, thus says the LORD, "If you return, then I will restore you-- Before Me you will stand; And if you extract the precious from the worthless, You will become My spokesman. They for their part may turn to you, But as for you, you must not turn to them. 20 "Then I will make you to this people A fortified wall of bronze; And though they fight against you, They will not prevail over you; For I am with you to save you And deliver you," declares the LORD. 21 "So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, And I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent."
We don't get the same reception as Jeremiah most of the time, but we do have criticism from the people who don't follow God. Even if they reject the message, the message is supposed to be delivered. The heat the president and the Pope are taking on same-sex marriage comes to mind, as does the treatment of judicial nominee William Pryor by liberals for being a devout Catholic. We might not get stoned or cast into prison in most of the Blogosphere for such activity, but we're not always going to get a warm reception. Another thing this passage points out is a parallel to the "in the world but not of the world" construct in verse 19-the world might turn to use, but we're not supposed to turn to them. We may turn to the world in the sense that we will speak to it, but we shouldn't take the world as a role-model. We have a reward for our efforts and eventual relief from out pains. Sometimes the pain seems too much, but God has reasons for it, and will not test us beyond out abilities. Even if we do break down or do something stoopid when we get under pressure, there is grace to get us past that.

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