Our verse for today comes from Jeremiah 11:23, ” And there shall be no remnant of them, for I will bring catastrophe on the men of Anathoth, even the year of their punishment. “
As you wander the aisles of Christian bookstores, I don’t think you’ll find many books written about the men of Anathoth. And I haven’t seen a slew of Bible Study guides teaching on them, either. And in so many ways, that makes perfect sense. For when God says that He is going to bring catastrophe to someone so that there will be no remnant of them remaining, there doesn’t seem to be a whole lot left to talk about. All we can do is look back and see what brought on the annihilation, and then make sure not to travel down that road of destruction ourselves. So what was the problem God had with these men? Nothing, really. They just wanted to kill God’s prophet, Jeremiah. God had used Jeremiah to remind them of His call to righteousness in their lives, and then pointed out that they had followed the evil in their hearts back to the worship of Baal. And because of this betrayal against their Lord, God said that He would not hear them and would instead bring doom to the house of Israel and Judah. Well, these men didn’t really care for Jeremiah’s preaching, so they came up with a plan to kill him. But since the book is called Jeremiah and not The Men of Anathoth, we know God delivered His servant and wiped out these conspirators. God wasn’t about to lose His prophet to an angry mob.
Now, we don’t round up a mob and devise schemes to take out our pastor whenever we hear a sermon that ruffles our feathers. But do our hearts do something even more destructive and dangerous? Do we begin to tune out and turn away from the One who is reminding us of His holiness and our sinfulness? Do we turn back to our former Baals, whether they appeal to our time, interests or intellect, and seek comfort in the familiar when God is calling us out of ourselves? The bad news is foretold for us back in verse 12, ” They will not save them at all in the time of their trouble. ” Our subtle choices to neglect worship or avoid fellowship or keep too busy for His Word might seem trivial, but they can bring catastrophe, even to the house of His people.
As we seek Him today, look in your heart to see if you are pushing God aside with excuses or indifference. Ask Him to give you a heart that craves His presence, His people, and His plan.
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