Reading through the Bible together

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

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God has blessed me beyond what I deserve.  He has given me good health, loving parents and friends, and even material possessions.  But sometimes I wonder if I am missing out on even more blessings, particularly spiritual ones.

Surely the Israelites of Jeremiah’s day did not think that blessings were withheld because of their sins any more than countries today think that blessings are withheld because of their sins.  But Jeremiah said otherwise. He reminded the Israelites that it was God who gave the autumn and spring rains that brought a good harvest.  But “your wrongdoings have kept these away; your sins have deprived you of good” (verse 25 NIV).

There are consequences to our actions. This is a basic law of nature. That’s why people sometimes say, “What goes around, comes around.”  They mean that if you kill someone or steal something, you will be punished for it.  If you shout angrily at someone, that person might shout back at you, or at the very least be left in a bad mood toward you. Likewise, a smile could go a long way toward giving someone a good day.

When it comes to sin, Jeremiah reminds us that a direct consequence of our wrongdoings is that it stops the full blessings of heaven.  God cannot pour out His goodness on people who are willfully disobeying Him.

Prayer: “Dear God, my sins have deprived me of Your goodness.  Please help me to listen to You and obey You, not because I want more blessings but because You know what is best for me and my happiness.  Help me to obey You because I love You, and fill my day with Your goodness. Amen.”

Andrew McChesney
Journalist in Russia