June 2, Saturday

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“Wise in Our Own Eyes”

Jeremiah 8:4-12

“You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord, “Do men fall and not get up again? Does one turn way and not repent? “Why then has this people, Jerusalem, Turned away in continual apostasy? They hold fast to deceit, They refuse to return. “I have listened and heard, They have spoken that is not right; No man repented of his wickedness, Saying, ‘What have I done?’ Everyone turned to his course, Like a horse charging into the battle. “Even the stork in the sky Knows her seasons; And the turtledove and the swift and the thrush Observe the time of their migration; But My people do not know The ordinance of the Lord. “How can you say, ‘We are wise, And the law of the Lord is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes Has made it into a lie. “The wise men are put to shame, They are dismayed and caught; Behold, they have rejected the word of the Lord, And what kind of wisdom do they have? 10 “Therefore I will give their wives to others, Their fields to new owners;
Because from the least even to the greatest Everyone is greedy for gain; From the prophet even to the priest Everyone practices deceit. 11 “They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace. 12 “Were they ashamed because of the abomination they had done? They certainly were not ashamed, And they did not know how to blush; Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; At the time of their punishment they shall be brought down,” Says the Lord. 

As my wife and I prepare for our first child, I have noticed how much more attentive I am of how other people interact with their own kids—how they speak to the child, what they let their kids get away with or what they don’t, or the countenance of the parent when interacting with their child. If you were to ask me how I feel about preparing for our first child, I’d confess that I’m honestly not sure, because the thought of raising a child—let alone raising a child well—is so beyond my understanding that I am not sure what to think.

Yet, I catch myself noticing certain behaviors of parents or kids… and saying to myself, Oh my daughter definitely won’t be like that. She’s never behaving like that.  I know, I know—the parents are chuckling and thinking, Boy, are you going to get owned. 

This thought that all of us probably have had where we think we are wiser than someone else is such a falsehood that we hold onto. In fact, this presumption of knowledge, according to the Scripture, is actually not just wrong but wicked before the eyes of God—especially when it comes to understanding our lives.

In today’s passage, God calls out the people for this very reason. He talks about how normal it is for someone who falls to get up or someone who goes the wrong way to turn back around; and yet these people continue to go down the path of disobedience. Something that comes so naturally to storks and turtledoves, God’s people cannot seem to grasp. And yet they regard themselves as wise—why? Because they have the law of the Lord. As we discussed on Monday, religion had replaced true relationship, and the people believed in this deceit.

True wisdom, Scripture teaches us, is not having a lot of knowledge of laws and obligations. True wisdom is a way of life that is lived under the fear of God. True wisdom is dynamic—not something possessed and stagnant. And I pray that all of us would have this humble spirit in us that acknowledge that apart from a life intertwined to God, we are nothing.

Prayer: Father, thank You that in You, we can have true wisdom. Forgive us for the ways we think we know how all of this works. We may have all the knowledge in the world, but unless that knowledge is anchored in You, we are nothing but fools. Help us to not be like the people of Judah who found comfort in how much they knew. Rather, in humility, help us to find ourselves before Your feet, asking for You to speak to us. In Jesus’ Name.  Amen. 

Bible Reading for Today: Ezekiel 6-7

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