In today’s Bible reading* God recounts His charge against His people. Yes, they had disobeyed, but their actions weren’t God’s main concern. Mainly He was concerned about their stubborn and rebellious heart.
“But these people have stubborn and rebellious hearts. They have turned aside and have gone away. They have not said to themselves, ‘Let’s fear the LORD our God, who gives the seasonal rains, both autumn and spring, who guarantees to us the fixed weeks of the harvest.’ Your guilty acts have diverted these things from you. Your sins have withheld my bounty from you“
Jeremiah 5:23–25 (CSB)
God tells His people through Jeremiah that they have missed out on His blessings and provisions because they have followed their stubborn and rebellious hearts.
All too often, we look at sin from the perspective of actions, failing to realize that changing our behavior won’t solve our root problem: our stubborn and rebellious heart. Dealing with our sin problem by attending to the “leaves and branches” (the symptoms of our problem), while neglecting the root will get us nowhere.
Actually, it will. When you want more roses, you cut away leaves and branches. The same happens when we try to try to change our behavior when our heart is the problem: we get more undesirable behavior.
In a few days, Jeremiah will tell us more about our heart and I’ll comment on that then.
Your behavior isn’t your problem.
Your stubborn and rebellious heart is.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: