The other day I started reading in Jeremiah. I have never really sat down and read from this prophet before, but I’m already amazed at Jeremiah’s relevance to us in the 21st century.
In chapter 2 God begins to speak through Jeremiah bringing His case against the people of Israel and Judah. Listen to what God says about them:
What fault did your fathers find in Me
that they went so far from Me,
followed worthless idols,
and became worthless themselves?
They stopped asking: Where is the LORD
who brought us from the land of Egypt,
who led us through the wilderness,
through a land of deserts and ravines,
through a land of drought and darkness,
a land no one traveled through
and where no one lived?
I brought you to a fertile land
to eat its fruit and bounty,
but after you entered, you defiled My land;
you made My inheritance detestable.
The priests quit asking: Where is the LORD?
The experts in the law no longer knew Me,
and the rulers rebelled against Me.
The prophets prophesied by Baal
and followed useless idols.
Therefore, I will bring a case against you again.
(Jeremiah 2:5-9; HCSB)
What fault did your fathers find in me? That question rings as loud and clear today as it did then. It seems that so many people find faults with God. They don’t like the way He does/did things. They think He’s cruel or narcissistic. They can’t see how a God like Him would allow __(x)____ to continue. So instead of digging deeper to better understand God in relation to the world around them, they began following man-made gods because man-made gods are whatever we make them to be – not the other way around.
The same happens today. We exchange YHWH for Darwin because evolution gets us off the hook for how messed up we are. We didn’t like the idea of being tied down by all the rules and regs that come from believing in God…so we just stopped believing – as if that got us anywhere. We traded the Bible for science books, traded the church for the mall, and the sermon for MTV. Instead of trying to find out more about God and ourselves in attempt to overcome those obsticles in our path, we made like water and flowed down the path of least resistence, making our own gods in our image along the way.
They stopped asking, “Where is the Lord?” and so have we.
Let’s take it a step futher. Jeremiah says even the priests quit asking, “Where is the Lord?” and the teachers of the law didn’t even know God. The priests and the rabbis followed suit with the people around them. They started catering to the desires of the people rather than the desires of YHWH. They started following useless idols and forgot about YHWH who had first redeemed them as a people. Their ministry became all about people and none about God because they quit asking.
Whenever we quit asking, we stop learning. The only way to learn is to ask the tough questions and wrestle with the answers. Maybe the answers will lead you right back to where you started, or they might lead down a different path altogether that may have been missed has you not asked that question no one else wants to ask. God doesn’t hate questions. He gave us inqusitive minds. He created our brains to want to find out more about our universe and about the Creator. He’s not afraid of our questions. Asking leads to seeking, and seeking leads to finding. And what you’ll find is a deeper rooted foundation in your faith.
Be careful about thinking you know all the answers. The priests quit questioning and seeking for God and that is what started their downward spiral. If we are not cautious, we may also find ourselves down that same slope serving the useless idols of tradition and people-pleasing and prophesying by the power of man-made creeds and doctrines.
Don’t quit asking.