NIV Discover God’s Heart Devotional Bible

Duration: 365 days

THE GOD WHO WANTS OUR HEARTS

Jeremiah 11–15

God’s Story

God’s people had made a covenant with him. But they broke it. And now, because they continue to give their hearts to darkness, God has decreed disaster on them. God wants Jeremiah to let the people know of his plans.

But the people of Jeremiah’s hometown don’t want to hear it anymore. They plot to kill him. God promises to wipe out their family lines.

God assures Jeremiah that he’s going to uproot Judah’s wicked neighbors from their land just like he’s going to uproot Judah. But if they learn to follow him, he will have compassion on them.

The Lord directs Jeremiah to buy a linen belt, wear it, and then hide it in a crevice in the rocks. Days later, God tells him to dig it up. The belt is ruined and useless. It is a picture. God bound his people to himself, like a belt secures items close to the body. But they are wickedly prideful, so he is going to ruin them.

When a drought comes over the land, God’s people cry out to him. But God doesn’t answer them. Their false prophets keep proclaiming that they’ll avoid the sword and famine, but God has opposite news for them. If they would just repent, he would save them.

The King’s Heart

“You are always on their lips but far from their hearts” (Jeremiah 12:2). It’s Jeremiah’s diagnosis of the people, an echo of how God described them (see Isaiah 29:13).

God’s people talked about him—a lot. They even went to the temple, offering sacrifices, going through the religious motions. God had intended most of their offerings to be given with great joy out of love-filled hearts. “I love you, God,” a worshiper was saying as the smoke of a burnt offering wafted to the heavens. But this was not the way things were. God’s people didn’t genuinely love him—their hearts were far away. God even said that “the whole land will be laid waste because there is no one who cares” (Jeremiah 12:11).

God wanted to have a relationship with his people, but no one even cared. Disappointed and rightfully angry, God was going to turn his back on the people who had already turned their backs on him.

Insight

Both Moses and Samuel pleaded with God on behalf of the people during wicked times—Moses’ intercessions caused God to relent more than once (see Exodus 32:11-14Numbers 16:20-34). But God says, in Jeremiah 15:1, that even if Moses and Samuel were to plead on behalf of Judah, he wouldn’t relent now. The people are too wicked.

Copyright © 2014 by Walk Thru the Bible Ministries, Inc. All rights reserved.

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