Bible Reading: Jeremiah 46:14-28

“Why are your mighty ones face down? They do not stand because the LORD thrust them down.” (Jeremiah 46:15)

Because God had sent the Babylonians to destroy Judah, and they had succeeded, the remnant in Judah — not desiring to repent and turn back to God — decided to flee for protection from the mighty nation of Egypt. In other words, they desired to trust the strength and wealth the world had to offer. 

The hearts of the people of Judah reflect our hearts today. When we are finding it tough, where do we run to? Rarely do we repent and cling to Christ. More often, we indulge ourselves in endless entertainment. We follow worldly advice to either ignore our problems or believe that we are strong enough to overcome them. 

The reality is that running to the world’s help to overcome our stress, our misery, and in fact, God’s own good discipline in our lives means that we are running away from God. When God gives us discipline, in whatever shape or form, it is not easy. Maybe God is disciplining us to be faithful and diligent in our studies. Perhaps He is disciplining us to love our family or friends whom we find hard to respect. Maybe He is disciplining us with persecution like Christians in Afghanistan, whom we should continually pray for. 

No matter what our struggles are, God wills that we will turn back to God and grow closer to Him through them. See what happened to the people of Judah who turned to the Egyptians. God sent Babylon to destroy and punish the Egyptians and all who trusted in them. 

“The LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, said: “Behold, I am bringing punishment upon Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh and Egypt and her gods and her kings, upon Pharaoh and those who trust in him” (Jeremiah 46:25)

God will bring down all those who boast in their worldly strength and think that they can sustain themselves without God. God will also punish those who trust in such powers instead of God Himself. 

However, this passage concludes with a promise God gives to His chosen people. 

“Fear not, O Jacob my servant, declares the LORD, for I am with you. I will make a full end of all the nations to which I have driven you, but of you I will not make a full end. I will discipline you in just measure, and I will by no means leave you unpunished” (Jeremiah 46:28). 

Despite our constant turning to the world, God promises not to condemn His people fully. In Christ, judgement for God’s people has been paid for. Because of Christ, God works all things for the good of His children. Whenever we fall and find ourselves trusting in the world, remember that God is continually disciplining us and sanctifying us to turn from our sins and follow Him. Despite our frequent failures, God will not abandon us and make a complete end of us. Instead, in His love, He continually calls us back to repentance. May we humbly repent and learn to follow His ways. 

Lord, please forgive me when I turn to the world for comfort and help. In truth, You are the only true source of comfort and help. Please help me to obey You and to trust in You. When You are disciplining me and teaching me Your ways, don’t let me turn to the world but let me repent of my sins and turn to You. Thank You that You are always faithful to Your children. Praise be to You. In Jesus’ name, amen.