Jeremiah 5:24-25, NIV
“They do not say to themselves, ‘Let us fear the Lord our God, who gives autumn and spring rains in season, who assures us of the regular weeks of harvest.’ Your wrongdoings have kept these away; your sins have deprived you of good.”
I loved my Dad. He really cared for me when I was young and I would have done anything I could for him as an adult. But, as a child, I also had a healthy respect for him and I know that on more than one occasion the ‘fear of my Dad’ kept me from doing something wrong. And I know, too, that as a result there were many things I didn’t miss out on in my growing years. There was a connection sometimes between doing what was right and the reward of good things that I was looking forward to!
I am so glad that my Dad modelled for me the relationship between love, obedience and blessings – and because I loved him (and I knew he loved me) it wasn’t difficult to do those things that would please Him. But what I didn’t understand at the time was that he was also modelling for me an important aspect of the relationship we can have with God.
In our reading Jeremiah was highlighting the fact that there was a direct relationship between the blessings of seedtime and harvest and living in a loving and healthy fear of God. The people were ignoring the authority of God in their lives and were doing wrong things as a result. As a result they had moved outside the blessings that come from living within the covenantal provisions of God (see Deuteronomy 28:1-14).
God has not changed His character – indeed His character is not only unchanging, it’s unchangeable! So we can fully expect that if we choose to ignore the laws of God and live outside of His covenantal provisions, then there will be a consequence. In Jeremiah’s day God’s people discovered there was a relationship between how they lived and how much they experienced of the blessings of God. Paul reminded us that ‘God cannot be mocked’ and that ‘a man reaps what he sows’ (Galatians 6:7). But he also said that ‘the one who sows to please the Spirit will, from the Spirit will reap eternal life’ (Galatians 6:8).
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for not thinking that there can be a direct relationship between whether or not I choose to obey your Word and whether or not I experience your blessings. Help me, Lord, to get back on track with you and choose to walk in Your ways, holy fear of You, because I love You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.