17 February 2015

Beautifully Terrifying

Jeremiah 1

Today, I decided to read Jeremiah. I’ve been in church all my life and I don’t think I’ve read any of the old testament prophets. I really don’t think any Christians read their Bible, at least most of them don’t. I’m pretty sure they get their Bible from a preacher, which is really sad. We’re in the dark ages before the printing press. Christians may as well be illiterate and the printing press should have never been invented. It wouldn’t matter anyway, we get our verses on a Sunday morning from a pastor of a church. I’m one of those Christians. I’ve tried to read my Bible, but movies are so much more fun. Drinking to get drunk is so much more fun. I can think of a ton of things that are so much more fun than reading an ancient text.

I’m realizing that things worth anything in this life require some sort of sacrifice. I’m a dad, that takes huge sacrifice. I’m a husband, that takes huge sacrifice. I don’t want to be fat anymore, that takes sacrifice. I want knowledge, that takes sacrifice. The sacrifice for knowledge is forgoing the history and space shows on Netflix and picking up my Bible. I claim to be a Christian, so I should probably read my holy text.

Anyway, Jeremiah. The chapter starts out exciting. Right away, I picture a vision Jeremiah is having where he’s in a direct conversation with God. Jeremiah is young and afraid. God tells him not to worry. God assures him that He’s had this plan for him all along, even before he was born, God knew what his plan for Jeremiah was. God tells him not to worry, because He will “deliver” Jeremiah.

God also spoke to Jeremiah in symbolism. He shows Jeremiah a few things; an almond branch and a pot of boiling water pointing away from north. The almond branch, I guess, confirms that God will keep His word. The boiling pot facing away from the north was the kingdoms to the north that were going to come to Jerusalem. God is judging those kingdoms for worshiping other gods and for worshiping the work of their own hands. (Umm….America?) And God told Jeremiah to be ready to work. God told Jeremiah that He’ll give him the words to say and that He’ll make Jeremiah strong and they the kingdoms from the north will fight, but not prevail. God assures Jeremiah again that, “I am with you”, “to deliver you”.

Application of this is easy for me. God doesn’t come to me in visions. God doesn’t speak to me audibly, even in a dream. He did to Jeremiah, but not to me. I’m almost glad He doesn’t, because I would be scared shitless. God is terrifying. It’s kind of like when you walk up to the edge of the Grand Canyon. It’s beautifully terrifying. I think of God like the Grand Canyon, but like infinitely more beautiful and infinitely more terrifying.

So, this is probably terrifying to Jeremiah. Jeremiah was uncertain. He didn’t know if he was up for the task. I love that God was so reassuring throughout this whole chapter. God told Jeremiah that He would tell him where to go and what to say and that all of this was part of a plan, a purpose.
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