Prayer for the day
Test me, O LORD, and try me; examine my heart and mind.
Scripture for the day
It happens every year, as we get closer to Christmas time. You see the parents starting to sweat, starting to keep a closer eye on the flyers, checking the internet more regularly. They know that Christmas is coming and they’re scouring the city and the net for that gift. You know that gift. It’s the one that every kid wants and every parent wants to buy for his kids. The parents get a certain manic gleam in their eyes, as they seek out what will guarantee their children’s love for another year.
These parents pursue the perfect gift with a fervour and zeal that would have made Jeremiah proud. Jeremiah longed to see his people pursue God and his covenant love with this kind of single-minded purpose. Instead, he watched as the people of God threw away what should have been most precious to them, their relationship with God, and ran after relationships with other Gods made of wood, straw, and stone. Jeremiah’s lament in these chapters is palpable. He longs for his people to obey, to return to the God who gave them life. Instead, he sees them falling further and further from relationship.
God Himself speaks of this as a regular breaking of the covenant, so that in the end God is forced to bring upon His people the curses that were contained within the covenant.
Paul, knowing the history of his own ancestors, urges his pupil Timothy to pursue something so much better than wood and straw and stone. Paul commands Timothy to pursue righteousness, something that will, in the end, last. The pursuit of righteousness will lead to the apprehending of righteousness, which will develop the characteristics of godliness.
And godliness is what we all ought to pursue.