I am so tired today after substitute teaching 1st grade and I need to be better about reading and writing earlier in the day, because I'm sure what I'm about to write is going to be exhausted nonsense.
Jeremiah 7:9-11 compared to Matthew 21:12-13
In 17 days I've read a lot of passages in the Bible that I typically wouldn't choose to read. The prophets are very negative it seems.
It's hard for me to read passages where Isaiah, Jeremiah, David, are calling for judgment on people so determinedly. I wonder at where the compassion is. How can Isaiah, Jeremiah, and David stomach this? How can they say these things out loud?
I think about the people I know or have known in my life who don't follow Jesus and these are things I would never want to say to them. I don't feel like God asks me to say these things to them, at least not so often and graphically. But it makes me wonder at what the hearts of these prophets look like.
I picture the modern-day churches classified as hate groups with their horrifying protests and insulting signs. And I think, they would be and are happy to call for judgment on people determinedly and I wonder if the prophets are like that? Because I don't want that to be true.
But then I realize that there is a very key difference: hate vs. love. To people who don't get what's going on, who don't understand who God is, it may all look the same. But the difference is being motivated to say "this is wrong" because you love Jesus, not because you hate the people.
When you hate the people you would do anything to hurt them, tear them down, and build yourself up. You would say terrible things and want terrible things for them.
But when you love Jesus you would do anything to glorify His name. And if that means speaking the truth to people living in a harmful situation who don't want to believe they are living in a harmful situation, you do it!
Jesus said we need to give up everything to follow Him, that means everything. If your family, your home, your nation turns from God you will be saddened to see that, but you know that Jesus is worth everything, you owe Him your all because He gave you all, and so you will follow Jesus. Even if it means hurting your family.
I'm sure David, Isaiah, and Jeremiah suffered much heartache. They had to be so lonely to be the few who followed God. But that sorrow is far out weighed by the joy it is to know Him. Every person is offered this, and they are created to take it.
So yes, it was probably so lonely and hard to say these things that are written in the Bible, for David, Isaiah, and Jeremiah...but it's said out of love. How these prophets long for God and how they long for others to see Him too! Listen people, they beg, listen, God is here and He's moving, He loves you, worship Him! Take refuge in Him!
Anyway. I'm going to bed and I hope that made sense even though my brain is fried from corralling 1st graders all day. Peace out.