11-12: "A hot wind blows from the bare hilltops of the desert toward the LORD's people. It is not a gentle wind to separate grain from chaff. 12I feel a stronger wind that than. Now even I will announce judgments against the people of Judah." - God's people had not simply strayed from Him; they had completely forsaken Him and because of this total destruction lay in store.
22: "The LORD says, 'My people are foolish. They do not know me. They are stupid children; they don't understand. They are skillful at doing evil, but they don't know how to do good.'" - Habits had developed and all of Israel had lost their way more completely than at any other time.
27-28: "This is what the LORD says: 'All the land will be ruined, but I will not completely destroy it. 28So the people in the land will cry loudly, and the sky will grow dark, because I have spoken and will not change my mind. I have made a decision, and I will not change it.'" - Complete destruction would come as punishment but also to set the groundwork for a new beginning.
Points to Contemplate:
Does God need to send a wind into your life?
Are there old habits and tendencies that you have developed that need to be blown away and cleaned out? Have you drifted or lost focus and need a little spring zephyr to clean up your life? Jeremiah relates a message of certain doom to the Israelites because they have chosen to ignore God's messengers for years. Is God sending messages to you that you are purposefully ignoring? What must He do to get your attention?
Are you foolish? Do you know God? There is no reason not to know God. He is forever present. Have you chosen foolish ways of living your life that have kept God from reaching you with His love? Do you blame God for you not knowing Him? Could it be that you have gotten this wrong and need to look inward instead? What steps can you take today that will open your heart to the love of God?
Are you facing ruin in your life? Was it necessary? God worked with the Israelites for generations in His attempts to turn them from their evil ways. Does it cause you to wonder why they were so difficult to reach? Do you recognize that they symbolize general human tendencies and conditions? In the Israelites do you see examples of your own tendencies? What can you do to avoid their same mistakes? Can you learn from their example and become the disciple of Christ God is calling you to be? Promises of the Gospel:
The message from Jeremiah of pending destruction for the Israelites is not an easy lesson for us modern Christians to swallow. However, if we grasp meaning and purpose from the messages of hope that we love to read in Jeremiah, then we too, must attempt to personalize and learn from these darker passages. Yes, God has sent Jesus Christ and, in so doing, has provided a pathway to forgiveness for our sins. However, we still need to choose to make that step and turn to God. The Israelites were guilty of not turning to God. If we do likewise and do not turn to Christ, then the outcome of that decision can be as dramatically painful as the great Exodus at the hands of the Babylonians. It is our choice to make. We must be careful not to be like the Israelites who "(were) stupid children; they (didn't) understand. They (were) skillful at doing evil, but they (didn't) know how to do good." We know how.