Today’s Bible reading* includes some of the darkest words in the entire Bible.
Then the LORD said to me, “Do not pray for the well-being of these people. If they fast, I will not hear their cry of despair. If they offer burnt offering and grain offering, I will not accept them. Rather, I will finish them off by sword, famine, and plague.”
Jeremiah 14:11–12 (CSB)
One of the greatest blessings of God’s people is that He hears our prayers. The Creator and King of the universe, the Sovereign Lord cares to hear His people’s prayers. And yet, here, He promises silence. He promises to turn a deaf ear to His own people. God’s people have followed their stubborn, rebellious hearts so far that He has given up on them. Instead of hearing their prayers, He promises to send death.
God tells Jeremiah to plead with the people to return to God, to cry out to Him in repentance. (Jeremiah 14:17-22) And yet, God responds with judgment.
You have left me.” This is the LORD’s declaration. “You have turned your back, so I have stretched out my hand against you and destroyed you. I am tired of showing compassion.“
Jeremiah 15:6 (CSB)
Although we’re under a new covenant, God’s words through Jeremiah are applicable for Believers today. Under the new covenant, we relate to God differently than God’s people under the old covenant. God’s people are not under the Law, but under grace.
But the fact that we are under grace doesn’t mean that we can go out and live however we want. Living under grace doesn’t grant us a license to live like lost people. We are God’s people. And we should live accordingly. Jesus said that if we love Him, we will do what He says. (John 14:15)
And as we stay connected to the True Vine, He invites us to pray. (John 15:16) God promises to hear the prayers of His people who remain true to Him.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: