That Proverb where it says, “The foolish doesn’t want to be reproved, the foolish doesn’t want to be taught.”
There is something about this called DOCILITY
What does DOCILITY mean?
When Fr. Mike was in Central America, a priest was talking about the VIRTUE OF DOCILITY
A number of the teachers were really BRITTLE to that word
They thought being docile meant to be a pushover
DOCILITY means the KIND OF PERSON THAT CAN BE TAUGHT
It makes sense for teachers to know the value of students who are OPEN TO BEING TAUGHT
As opposed to stubborn students who think they know everything already
It was so clear to Fr. Mike how even as a missionary how important it was to be able to have that HEART OF DOCILITY
That sense of, “Ok God, whatever it is you need to teach me, I want you to teach me.”
THAT IS THE WISE HEART!
THE HEART OF THE FOOL HATES BEING TAUGHT, HATES BEING CORRECTED
That is part of what God gives us when we read Jeremiah and Ezekiel
He continues to CORRECT US
ONLY IF WE ARE OPEN TO BEING CORRECTED
Jeremiah Chs 12 and 13 are REMARKABLE
Jeremiah Ch 12 is BEAUTIFUL
Jeremiah Ch 13 is WEIRD
Jeremiah 12:3, “But you, O Lord, know me; you see me, and test my mind toward you. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter...”
At the end Jeremiah is talking about the false people of Jerusalem and Judah
“Basically get rid of them because what’s happening around us is I know what is coming. The Babylonians are going to come. They are going to destroy this place, unless you correct us, unless we come back to you.”
Jeremiah 12:5, “If you have raced with men on foot, and they have wearied you, how will you compete with horses?”
That is one of those BEAUTIFUL POETIC AND GENIUS LINES
You can’t even race with human beings!
How will you compete with horses?
Jeremiah 12:6, “For even your brothers and the house of your father, even they have dealt treacherously with you…”
We just need to acknowledge our limitations
We can’t even compete with HUMAN BEINGS much less compete with the WORKINGS OF GOD
Think of any sort of endeavor, like the Olympics, and realize, “I am not able to compete at that level with any of those people.”
Maybe some of us can...good for you!!
Maybe you competed in the Olympics so you know what that’s like
We recognize our SEVERE LIMITATIONS
That’s one of the things Jeremiah is highlighting
Jeremiah is saying, “Those of us who can’t even compete with strong human beings, how in the world are we going to be able to compete with the Lord?”
So Jeremiah complains to God
Jeremiah 12:14, “...’Behold, I will pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them.”
And this is such good news
We even have a note of HOPE in Jeremiah at the beginning of this
Remember, Jeremiah preaches for 40-50 years
The word of hope is in Jeremiah 12:15, “And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again each to his heritage and each to his land.”
THIS IS SO IMPORTANT!!
Jeremiah 12:16, “And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ even as they taught my people to swear by Baal, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people.”
Here is the people who are swearing by Baal and turning to other false gods
GOD WILL BRING THEM BACK
THEY WILL LEARN HOW TO PRAY IN GOD’S NAME
THEY WILL LEARN HOW TO WALK IN GOD’S NAME
THEY WILL LEARN HOW TO LIVE IN GOD’S NAME
In the midst of all this chaos that Jeremiah has to experience, there is this drop of HOPE
God is saying, “Yes, this is what’s going to happen. Destruction is going to come.”
Remember, Jeremiah is calling the people not only to repent, BUT TO BRACE FOR IMPACT
IMPACT IS COMING!!
If they aren’t willing to take the EASY MEDICINE, then the HARD MEDICINE IS ON ITS WAY!!
Jeremiah Ch 13 has a fascinating little image of The Linen Waistcloth
What’s a linen waistcloth?
It sounds like underwear
DING DING DING!! You move on to FINAL JEOPARDY!!😉
God tells Jeremiah to go and buy some linen waistcloth
At least it was NEW UNDERWEAR
Jeremiah wore it on his body
God then tells him to go to the Euphrates and hide it there in the rocks and let it rot away
Many days later, God tells Jeremiah to go back and track down the underwear in the rocks
THIS IS THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL
THIS IS THE HOUSE OF JUDAH
Jeremiah 13:11, “For as the waistcloth clings to the loins of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.”
SO THEY BECAME RUINED UNDERWEAR!!! 🤮🤮🤮🤮
That’s one of Fr. Mike’s favorite images of any of the prophets in the Bible because of his juvenile sense of humor
BUT IT WORKS, RIGHT?
We get the DEPTH of this
As we are getting to the end of Jeremiah Ch 13, God is making it very clear
Jeremiah 13:15-16, “Hear and give ear; be not proud, for the Lord has spoken. Give glory to the Lord your God before he brings darkness, before your feet stumble on the twilight mountains, and while you look for light he turns it into gloom and makes it deep darkness.”
COME BACK TO THE LORD WHILE THERE IS STILL TIME!!
It’s one thing for us to HEAR these words and THINK, “Man (OH MAN!!), why did they not turn back to the Lord?”
It’s another thing for us to HEAR these words and SAY, “Maybe that’s ME. Maybe that’s ME right now. Maybe that’s what God is asking of ME at this moment. Is there anyway, anywhere, any place in my life right now where God is saying, ‘Hey, come back to me.’ This is an area where you have drifted from me. This is an area where you may have grown cold to me and this is where I’m asking you to come back to me.”
It’s one of the gifts of diving deeply into these prophets
Not only do we get the CONTEXT
Here is Ezekiel having a vision of the Temple for the next few chapters as Jerusalem has already fallen and the Temple IS DESTROYED
But also here is Jeremiah and the Temple HAS NOT been destroyed yet
He is still calling those people back to be able to say, “Where in my life is God asking me to surrender my heart? Where in my life is God asking me to say, ‘Ok I’m his NOW. I’m his ALWAYS. I’m his FOREVER.”
That’s a great question that I’m asking myself today
As we listen to this Word of God
As we ask the Lord to CONVICT OUR HEARTS AND BRING US HOME
PRAY FOR FR. MIKE
PRAY FOR EACH OTHER