Day 225: Our Will vs. God's Will

Jeremiah 2:1-37 In the first chapter, the prophet raised a grievance against the people’s habitual violations of the covenant and urged them to repentance and conversion; otherwise, severe punishment would ensue. Through his prophecies and exhortations, Jeremiah acted as a mediator between God and Judah. The prophet’s specific objective was to persuade the Jewish people to reform their lives. This first prophecy focuses on their worship of idols, which was a flagrant affront to the most basic principles of their covenant with the one true God.


Ch 2:1-2 Scripture compares God’s relationship with his people often to the spousal relationship of a husband and wife since that union requires mutual self-sacrificial love, exclusivity, fidelity, and permanence. In the Book of Hosea, God asked the prophet to marry an unfaithful woman, Gomer, and used her infidelity to their marriage covenant as an analogy of Israel’s unfaithfulness to the Mosaic Covenant (cf. Hos 1-3). God had remained faithful always to his end of the covenant and had always been ready to forgive Israel for its infidelities. God’s lavish liberality in forgiving the people of Israel set the stage for the coming of the Messiah, the Redeemer of the world. (CCC 762, 1161)


Ch 2:4 All families of the house of Israel: Families in ancient Israel were united by tribal affiliation. It is ordinarily within the family that children are educated and nurtured in preparation for adulthood; indeed, within the family virtues are cultivated and moral values are taught. The proper education and formation of children redound on the common good. Given the vital role of the family in society, governments must do all they can to support the family. On a local level, individuals should work together to promote a family life that reflects both moral law and the teachings of the Gospel. (CCC 1882, 2201-2213)


Ch 2:13 Water is an image of cleansing, purity, and new life. The Lord’s words here indicate that the people had turned away from him, the true and only source of living water, and had sought other ends-polluted water-that caused harm. In the Gospels Christ spoke of the living water that he would give, which would thoroughly refresh and relieve all thirst (cf. Jn 4:1-42). (CCC 2561)


Ch 2:14 All of Jeremiah’s questions, although couched in rhetoric, are a means of accusing the people of their sins in a striking manner.


Ezekiel 28:1-13 The king of Tyre was singled out as representative of the excessive pride of its citizens.


As wise as a god: This parallels the temptation of Adam and Eve by the serpent, who told Eve they would become “like God” if they were to eat of the forbidden fruit (cf. Gn 3:5). The disposition or pride is the root of all evil since a person’s subjective desires trump God’s will as expressed in his Laws. (CCC 1850)


Ch 28:20-26 The vague condemnation of Sidon appears to leave the door open for repentance rather than complete destruction.

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)


  • So this was one of the most POWERFUL Proverbs

  • They’re all pretty great right?

  • Proverbs 14:12 is SO GOOD

  • “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

  • That is SO POWERFUL because there are many things that we CHOOSE that we THOUGHT AT THE TIME was the RIGHT THING TO DO

  • EVEN IF IT GOES AGAINST WHAT GOD HAS TAUGHT US

  • EVEN IF IT GOES AGAINST WHAT THE CHURCH HAS TAUGHT US

  • EVEN IF IT GOES AGAINST WHAT OUR EXPERIENCE HAS TAUGHT US

  • We can look around at this world and think, “Oh my gosh this never works!”

  • I’m sure we can all think of a bunch of examples in our own lives where we look around and say, “You know what? Let me try it…”

  • Remember the SNL Skit with the spoiled milk? (I believe it was one of the times Tom Hanks was on the show 🤪)

  • That is us

  • In spite of the fact that we know so much of our choices that go against God’s Will and Heart

  • We have been listening to God’s Word for 225 days

  • He has revealed his heart to us for over half of a year

  • AND YET…

  • There are times where we want to TRY OUR OWN WAY AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS

  • And Scripture would say that way is the way to FOLLY

  • We have more FOLLY happening in Ezekiel Ch 28

  • Ezekiel is preaching to the nations AROUND Judah and Israel

  • He is now talking to Tyre and Sidon which aren’t nations, but cities

  • He talks about the ruin of Tyre and the lamentation of the King of Tyre

  • He also prophesied the destruction of Sidon

  • The common denominator is that the Kings of Tyre and Sidon, the cities of Tyre and Sidon were wealthy, powerful, and influential

  • They were port cities and trade had to go through them

  • Lamentations over the King of Tyre said things like:

  • “Yeah you were brilliant. You were beautiful. You were blameless in your ways. You were wise. I even appointed a guardian cherub I placed in you. You were on the holy mountain of God.”

  • ALL THESE THINGS!!

  • AND YET WHAT HAPPENED?

  • Ezekiel 28:17, “Your heart was proud because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor.”

  • We have encountered this theme before

  • God can give us a wisdom that WE BEGIN TO THINK IS OUR OWN

  • God can give us a beauty that WE BEGIN TO THINK COMES FROM OURSELVES

  • God can even give us a position, wealth, whatever it is, and WE BEGIN TO THINK IT IS OUR RIGHT

  • NOT A GIFT FROM GOD!!

  • THIS IS FROM ME!!

  • THIS IS NOT FROM THE LORD!!

  • That’s what happens to Tyre and Sidon

  • AND YET…

  • Here is the Lord who says, “I am going to allow you to get what you’ve done. I’m going to cast you down…”

  • BUT…

  • BUT…

  • Ezekiel 28:24, “And for the house of Israel there shall be no more a brier to prick or a thorn to hurt them among all their neighbors who have treated them with contempt. Then they will know that I am the Lord God.”

  • There is something so POWERFUL about this as well

  • We all know what it’s like to have people all around us who are:

  • BEAUTIFUL

  • POWERFUL

  • INFLUENTIAL

  • SUCCESSFUL

  • AND…

  • They look at us and might see our LACK OF BEAUTY

  • OUR LACK OF STRENGTH

  • OUR LACK OF SUCCESS

  • OUR LACK OF INTELLIGENCE

  • AND THEY TREAT US WITH CONTEMPT

  • God is saying, “Yeah your neighbors will be cast down. And once again I will raise you up.”

  • Ezekiel 28:25, “...When I gather the house of Israel from the peoples among whom they are scattered, and manifest my holiness in them in the sight of the nations…”

  • Yes, they’ll remove the contempt

  • But God will manifest HIS holiness in them in the sight of the nations

  • There is something SO POWERFUL about this

  • Because our lives are meant to do that

  • Our lives are meant MANIFEST THE HOLINESS OF GOD in sight of the people around us

  • Our lives are meant to REVEAL THE HOLINESS OF GOD in sight of the people around us

  • When people SEE US

  • When people HEAR US

  • When people THINK OF US

  • They should be called to think of GOD HIMSELF

  • Not strictly speaking of us

  • The point of our lives is not only to BELONG TO GOD

  • BUT…

  • TO BE POINTERS TO GOD

  • LIKE EZEKIEL

  • LIKE JEREMIAH

  • LIKE THE PEOPLE OF GOD WERE MEANT TO BE

  • On to Jeremiah

  • This is REMARKABLE

  • Jeremiah was born in the priestly family

  • Some scholars say that Jeremiah preached for roughly 50 years

  • When he began his preaching some scholars say he was about 20 years old

  • Yesterday, Jeremiah 1:6, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.”

  • He was right, he was roughly 20 years old or so when he began to have that life as a prophet

  • Jeremiah is the WEEPING PROPHET

  • He is not weeping because he is WEIRD

  • The WEIRD prophet would be Ezekiel (what with all the performance art and interpretive dance prophecies 🤪)

  • Jeremiah is known as the WEEPING PROPHET because HE LETS HIS HEART BE BROKEN for what the people are going through

  • He is a prophet who SPEAKS HARD WORDS

  • BUT…

  • He always speaks hard words WITH SO MUCH LOVE

  • Jeremiah has allowed the APOSTASY, IDOLATRY, ADULTERY of the people of God to BREAK HIS HEART

  • You can HEAR it in the next number of days

  • Even today

  • GOSH!

  • THINK ABOUT THIS!

  • Jeremiah 2:1-2, “The word of the Lord came to me, saying, ‘Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the Lord, I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown…”

  • THINK ABOUT THIS

  • You can imagine a husband saying to his wife, “I remember when you used to look at me like you loved me.”

  • Or a wife saying to her husband, “I remember when you used to look at me like you adored me.”

  • Here is God saying, “I remember the devotion of your youth. Your love as a bride. How you followed me into the wilderness.”

  • Jeremiah 2:3, “Israel was holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest.”

  • God is saying, “I remember that. I remember our relationship. I remember our relationship, how you were mine and I was yours.”

  • Jeremiah 2:5, “Thus says the Lord: ‘What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me…’”

  • “What could I have done that I didn’t do?”

  • “What did I do wrong that you don’t want me?”

  • It goes on to say how the people CHASED AFTER OTHER GODS

  • There is a moment here when he talks about the camel and the donkey

  • Jeremiah 2:24, “...a wild donkey used to the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind! Who can restrain her lust?”

  • There is something...um...weird?...graphic?...about that image

  • It’s a donkey in heat who is going after any male donkey she can find

  • This image is of the People of Israel

  • The gods around them DID NOT HAVE TO CHASE THEM

  • THEY were willing to CHASE DOWN THOSE FALSE GODS

  • THIS IS KEY!!

  • “What wrong did your fathers find in me that they went far from me, and went after worthlessness, and became worthless?”

  • Here is the UNIQUE SITUATION of the people of Israel (And it is OUR SITUATION TOO)

  • THE ACTUAL GOD

  • THE REAL GOD

  • THE GOD WHO ACTUALLY EXISTS

  • Has the ONLY PEOPLE that has TURNED AWAY FROM HIM and TURNED TOWARDS FALSE GODS

  • IN FACT…

  • “Look at all these people around you. They have their false gods. They have their baals and their high places and their green trees and no one turns away from them, these fake gods, these false gods that don’t even exist.”

  • AND YET…

  • “I THE LORD GOD EXIST!”

  • “I HAVE CALLED YOU!”

  • “I HAVE FOUGHT FOR YOU!”

  • “I HAVE GIVEN YOU ALL THESE GREAT THINGS!”

  • “YOU ARE THE ONLY PEOPLE IN EXISTENCE THAT TURNS FROM YOUR GOD TO FALSE GODS, TO OTHER GODS!”

  • So Jeremiah is weeping over this and letting his heart be broken by this

  • Jeremiah 2:8, “The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who handle the law did not know me; the rulers transgressed against me; the prophets prophesied by Baal, and went after things that do not prophet.”

  • The priests did not say WHERE IS THE LORD

  • The priests DID NOT CARE

  • The priests who were meant to occupy and worship in the Temple DID NOT CARE

  • Those who handled the Law, the Bible scholars, DID NOT EVEN KNOW GOD

  • They might have known the law, BUT THEY DID NOT KNOW GOD

  • The rulers TRANSGRESSED AGAINST GOD

  • The prophets PROPHESIED BY BAAL

  • IT IS JUST REMARKABLE

  • They went after things that DO NOT PROFIT

  • Jeremiah 2:12, “Be appalled, O heavens, at this, be shocked, be utterly desolate…”

  • Jeremiah 2:13, “...they have forsaken me, the fountain of living water and hewed out cisterns for themselves, broken cisterns that can hold no water.”

  • Fountain of living water basically means SPRING

  • In Northern Minnesota there is this spring outside this small town that claims to be the BEST WATER IN THE WORLD or maybe the BEST WATER IN MINNESOTA

  • It’s a LIVING SPRING

  • It is an ARTISANAL WELL (Did Fr. Mike say it right? No. No he did not. But that’s ok because we still love him 😉)

  • It has the COLDEST CRISPEST CLEAREST BEST TASTING WATER YOU’VE EVER HAD IN YOUR ENTIRE LIFE

  • And it just bubbles up

  • It’s just COMPLETE GRACE (Wait are we talking about the spring in Minnesota still? 🤔)

  • Jeremiah is saying the people have committed TWO EVILS

  • They have forsaken GOD, the fountain of LIVING WATERS

  • ALL THIS FRESH WATER

  • FOR FREE

  • FOR YOU

  • And they hewed out CISTERNS

  • So what are cisterns? 🤔

  • You dig into the limestone and coat it with plaster so you can store water for yourself

  • Of course, it doesn’t taste that great because it’s in a limestone well covered in plaster

  • Also, it is CRACKED so that it can hold no water

  • GOSH YOU GUYS!!

  • EVERY TIME

  • EVERY TIME WE EXCHANGE THE GRACE OF GOD FOR ANYTHING LESS THAN GOD, THAT IS WHAT WE CHOOSE!!

  • THAT IS WHAT WE CHOOSE

  • Jeremiah 2:26, “As a thief is shamed when caught so the house of Israel shall be shamed…”

  • That’s really a BIG PIECE, isn’t it?

  • A thief is NOT ASHAMED when they STEAL

  • A thief is ASHAMED when he is CAUGHT STEALING

  • So many of us SINNERS are NOT ASHAMED when we SIN

  • We are ASHAMED when we are CAUGHT SINNING

  • Even after THAT, would we turn our face to the Lord?

  • Even after THAT, would we come before God and say, “God, please help me. Save me.”

  • Jeremiah 2:35, “...you say, ‘I am innocent; surely his anger has turned from me.’ Behold, I will bring you to judgment for saying, ‘I have not sinned.’”

  • Jeremiah has SUCH A POWERFUL WORD

  • Jeremiah is SUCH A POWERFUL PROPHET

  • Not because he just speaks the TRUTH

  • But because he speaks the TRUTH LOVING THE PEOPLE OF THE SOUTHERN KINGDOM OF JUDAH SO MUCH

  • Obviously this is God speaking THROUGH JEREMIAH TO US TODAY

  • This is CLEARLY God LOVING US even in our UNFAITHFULNESS

  • God is saying, “You’ve been busted. Why don’t you turn back to me? You’re only ashamed of this because you have been found out. But even then, you keep denying the fact that you’ve been found out.”

  • SO WE COME BACK TO THE LORD

  • OF COURSE REPENTANCE NEEDS GOD’S GRACE

  • WE CAN’T EVEN COME BACK TO GOD WITHOUT HIS HELP

  • SO WE PRAY FOR EACH OTHER

  • PRAY FOR FR. MIKE

  • PRAY THAT WE ALL CAN COME BACK TO THE LORD WITH ALL OF OUR HEARTS

  • NOT ONLY WHEN WE ARE CAUGHT

  • NOT ONLY WHEN WE ARE BUSTED

  • BUT…

  • ALSO WHEN WE RECOGNIZE IN THE SILENCE OF OUR HEARTS

  • “GOD, YOU ARE CALLING ME BACK TO YOU.”

  • LET’S GO BACK TO HIM


Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and we thank you so much. We thank you, as every day that we pray, we thank you for your Word. We thank you for revealing to us your call to repent, your call to come back to you. We thank you for revealing to us the fact that you have a plan for our lives and that you actually want us to be blessed by you. You want us to be close to you. You want us to be as faithful to you as you are to us. And even when we are not faithful, even when we fail, you have not abandoned us. Because you are a good Dad. And so, Father today, Dad today, we thank you. We thank you for your gift. Thank you for your wisdom. And thank you for never abandoning us and continuing to call us back to your heart. Help us to say yes to your heart. Help us to say yes to your will. And help us to turn away from what we have turned to in place of you. What we have placed our trust in, in place of you. What we have given our heart to instead of you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”