May 17, 2020, Jeremiah 21:8-14 – Post 3 – ISSL Reflections

You can find Jeremiah 21:8-14 here –

Let’s see, what was the second question –
How do we know what in a Scripture passage is time/place specific and what should be universalized as we understand our lives lived as God’s people?

We might ask that in another way – “What applies to me today, in my daily walk, in my communities, in how I conduct my life?”

Some matters in our passage this week may be easy to discern.

First, let’s notice some things that I suspect we are pretty quick to pick up on.

For one – “the way of life and the way of death” (Jeremiah 21:8)

A theme in Scripture we see repeated.

What follows that, that is, what specifically is the life path and what specifically is the death path may change from context to context but the overarching theme is the same – God’s desire for us is to live with God, come near to God and allow God’s kind of life/living to inhabit us and be lived out through us. Can you buy into that?

Sometimes we may be presented with hard choices on how to live that in a specific situation but the goal is always the same.

A few sentences later the Prophet tells the King, “Execute justice in the morning, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed …” (Jeremiah 21:12)

Don’t you think we can recognize this path is not just for the King or rulers or those in leadership but for all of us?

So we probably already can draw some universally applicable principles from this passage.

Second, there is at least a hint if not an obvious clue in the question and answer exchange between the King and the Prophet as how to apply this to our lives.

The King hoped to draw a conclusion from the past as to how his confrontation with the Caldeans would work out, that is, God comes to the rescue in the imminent battle.

The Prophet said “No!”

I also hear the Prophet saying, God will rescue, there is life after this, but not in the way you hope and expect, but a life that God leads you toward.

Do you think that promise is contained in the Prophet’s words?

If that is so, it suggests to me that we pay attention to the past, notice how God has accompanied us in our lives and then trust (ok, big word, hard to do sometimes, especially in the middle of difficult situations) – trust God is still present, and as we seek the Kingdom, God can lead.

Maybe not a “1-2-3 steps” method for us or a “do it this way every time” rule, but a way forward, maybe even a light on the path.

What do you think?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

PS –
Often I spend most of our time together asking questions, today, I have offered a more specific take on the passage. I trust I have not been to “preachy” and even in my thoughts and interpretations, I hope I provoke you to examine the passage for yourself and talk it over with God.

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