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  • Writer's pictureJan Weihl

Be a Blessing (Jeremiah 4)

Updated: Aug 14, 2022

I've never really enjoyed reading the Old Testament for two reasons. 1) I never enjoyed history as a kid because I saw no purpose in it. 2) The Old Testament is just about this mean God who is constantly threatening people. Or could there be more to it than that?

God is not a mean old god that destroys nations and threatens his people for no reason. God is a loving Father who wants the absolute best for mankind, who was created in His image, His very likeness.

Genesis 1:26-27 Then God said, “Let Us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” [27] So God created mankind in His own image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.

But just as any loving parent wants the absolute best for their children, there must be consequences for doing wrong and motivation for doing right.

So the prophet, Jeremiah, was called to share God's message and warnings to the kingdom of Judah from 627-586 B.C. Jeremiah was told to warn Judah of the consequences of turning away from God, embracing false gods, and following horrible pagan worship traditions such as sacrificing their own children:

Jeremiah 7:31 They have built pagan shrines at Topheth, the garbage dump in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they burn their sons and daughters in the fire. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it never even crossed my mind to command such a thing.

But in spite of Judah's hardened heart and horrible sins, Jeremiah tells us about God's grace. God is a loving Father calling out warnings to His people to return to Him rather than face the consequences of judgment.

God told them through Jeremiah exactly what consequences would come if they continued to turn away from Him and embrace idolatry. Babylon would come, utterly destroy them, and carry them off into exile.

God also reminded the Jews of their purpose, to continuously draw close to Him and in so doing, be a blessing to those around them.

Jeremiah 4:1-2 If you wanted to return to Me, you could. You could throw away your detestable idols and stray away no more. Then when you swear by My name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’ you could do so with truth, justice, and righteousness. Then you would be a blessing to the nations of the world, and all people would come and praise My name.

That's still what God wants from us today; to be a blessing to those around us.

Have you ever noticed there are some people that no matter what they are going through, you can see the strength and joy of the LORD shining so brightly through them, that you can't help but be blessed?

Then there are others who refuse to draw close to God and obey Him. Even when they are physically healthy and not facing trials, they seem to always find something to complain about, something to be angry about, or someone to be critical of.

But when we make it a priority to draw close to God in prayer, worship, and in His Word, He fills us with His Spirit and strengthens us for the obstacles ahead in such a powerful way, that others are blessed as they observe God working through us.

Dear Lord, I know so many people fighting major illnesses and dealing with heart-breaking divorces. But in spite of these trials, I'm blessed to see You working in their lives as they draw close to You and rely on You even in the heat of the battle.

Lord, I pray for those who are battling trials on their own rather than turning into You and relying on your direction, strength, peace, and comfort.

Lord, please protect me from distractions and keep my heart so focused on You through the valleys and the trials, that I may be a blessing to others, helping them see the need to draw close to You. In Jesus' name, amen.

Jan Weihl

Living Word Ministries

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