As I’ve written in a previous post, I’m spending this year with Jeremiah by studying the book that bears his name. Ten months into it, I can tell you that focusing repeatedly on the same book of Scripture has proven a rich way to get into God’s Word.
I was reminded of one of the chapters from Jeremiah last weekend at a Steve Bell concert. Steve performed a number of songs from his newly released project Pilgrimage. One song, entitled Big Mistake, made me think of Jeremiah 2. It also made me think of how we are prone to do what Israel did—trade in our freedom by returning to old patterns of slavery and bondage.
Jeremiah 2 laments Israel’s descent from devotion to desertion. The Lord recalls the loving devotion His people had shown Him when He rescued them out of Egypt: “I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the desert” (2:1-2).
Sadly, the honeymoon didn’t last long.
In spite of God’s goodness in protecting them from their enemies (2:3), leading them through the desert (2:6) and giving them a fruitful new homeland (2:7), the Israelites quickly became unfaithful to Him. Instead of remaining a devoted bride, they played the harlot. They ran into the arms of other gods and wound up trading freedom for slavery.
It’s easy to shake our heads at the foolish choices Israel made. Except we sometimes do the very same thing. We turn our back on God’s goodness and turn back to old sin patterns. We treat our freedom in Christ as if it were a Big Mistake.
As you listen to Steve’s song Big Mistake, ask the Lord to reveal if you are descending from devotion to desertion, from freedom in Christ to slavery to old ways.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love (Galatians 5:13)