If and when you get into trouble and if and when you cry out to God, would He recognize your voice because He is used to hearing it? Or is worship and prayer just a nice idea?
Do you notice how some people react to hardship and tragedy? It would seem that the most irreligious or nonreligious men and women suddenly position themselves for God’s attention and help, even though they seem to have ignored Him for a long time.
It happens a lot when “breaking news” jolts us with yet another act of senseless violence. It is not surprising when all kinds of people cry out to God for rescue and strength. Public officials even petition the Lord for His presence and provision when people face great loss due to natural disasters. It’s ironic though that while most folks ignore God regularly, their instinct is to call on God, not the devil, for assistance and relief.
It is amazing to consider the heavenly Father is always on call and waiting to send the immense resources of heaven to our rescue. Yet according to Scripture, that is not necessarily the case. God may instead use the difficulty to reveal to us the emptiness of our self-centered and created values and the powerlessness of the gods we tend to trust in.
Read Jeremiah 2:26-30.
Prophets like Jeremiah were covenant enforcers, mobilized and used by the Lord to remind the Israelites of the agreement they made with Him. They agreed at Mt. Sinai to live in obedience to their Creator, and, “have no other gods.” Through Jeremiah, the Lord challenged His people, Israel, on many occasions as to who really was their Lord.
They were in deep trouble in this instance because they had been trying to get help from the idols they had set up and were worshipping. So the Lord forced them to face up to the futility of honoring and trusting in other false gods.
It is fair to assume God can (and does) ask you or I the same question He asked Israel. Imagine He said, “Why call on Me now that you are in trouble? Where is your mobile device, smartphone, apps, and Google chat to lean on? Where are your Twitter followers, techno dudes, and Facebook friends? Where are your movie stars, latest trending fad setters, political voices, and entertainment gurus? Why not seek help from your Apple TV, regular paycheck, new wheels, gym membership, or debt relief strategy? You have been serving these gods faithfully. So let them help you now.”
Jeremiah often used the analogy of an immoral, adulterous prostitute to illustrate the depth of the Hebrews unfaithfulness to God (2:33). New Testament writers referred to the church as the bride of Christ (Ephesians 5:22-27, for example). The idea is believers should be careful to remain faithful to the Lord and not abandon Him for other lovers.
Can we learn from the mistakes of others? Sadly, we often do not. God does not want us to think we can trust in the gods of this age and still expect Him to protect us from the consequences. Walk wisely. He will forgive us if we repent. He offers us help as we lean on Him in good times and bad. What (or whom) are you really trusting in, if it’s not the Lord?
Love is a verb,
©2015 by Mike Olejarz