Friday, January 15, 2010

23 years

Jeremiah 25

“The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah… which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: "For twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day, the word of the LORD has come to me, and I have spoken persistently to you, but you have not listened. You have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear, although the LORD persistently sent to you all his servants the prophets, saying, 'Turn now, every one of you, from his evil way and evil deeds, and dwell upon the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers from of old and forever. Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, or provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm.' Yet you have not listened to me, declares the LORD, that you might provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm.”

Twenty-three years. The mercy and patience of the Lord is amazing. He goes on to say that He is now going to judge them for their hard hearts and disobedience, but the length of His patient call to a rebellious people was what caught my eye. Twenty-three years is less than the blink of an eye to the Lord, but it’s a long time in human terms. Today His Spirit calls within. How long has He been beckoning us to come to Him for the grace to turn from “the sin that so easily entangles us”? Are we listening, or have we become dull of hearing in the busyness of everyday life? Do we enjoy that one little area of compromise too much to let go? Are we “robbing God” of the full obedience of faith that He deserves? How long has He been calling to us?

Lord give us ears to hear what you would say, and if we have become hard of hearing, we ask you to speak so loudly that we just can’t miss it.

You won’t have to shout when we stand before your throne.