Where are you flirting or even cheating with the world? The Lord doesn’t appreciate when we flaunt our relationship with the world before him. We embrace the world, and then ask God why he is angry. Meanwhile, God is watching and waiting for us to turn back to him…
2 “Look up to the barren heights and see.
Is there any place where you have not been ravished?
By the roadside you sat waiting for lovers,
sat like a nomad in the desert.
You have defiled the land
4 Have you not just called to me:
‘My Father, my friend from my youth,
5 will you always be angry?
Will your wrath continue forever?’
This is how you talk,
but you do all the evil you can.”
6 During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. 7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not…
12 “‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord,
‘I will frown on you no longer,
for I am faithful,’ declares the Lord,
‘I will not be angry forever.
13 Only acknowledge your guilt—
you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
you have scattered your favors to foreign gods
under every spreading tree,
and have not obeyed me,’”
declares the Lord.
Jeremiah 3:2, 4-7, 12-13
The Lord doesn’t appreciate when we flaunt our relationship with the world before him, acting like cheating spouses who don’t even care who sees what they are doing. In Israel’s time, they were pictured waiting by the roadside for lovers as prostitutes would do. You probably don’t identify with that image, do you?
That’s not me. I am not like a prostitute. How offensive. Particularly because I think prostitutes are victims of society who are under the control of pimps or drugs or both. It’s an exaggeration to use this imagery relating to our relationships with God. Really…
James picks up the theme. “You adulterers! Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God?” (James 4:4)
We don’t like the language or the implication. We don’t like what appears to be name-calling. The trouble is that we befriend the world, and then we ask God why he is angry. We are self-centred and we ignore God’s point of view. God sees us doing ‘all the evil we can’ (vs 5).
We walk the line as close as we can to the edge and then we bristle when we are accused of pushing boundaries.
If we don’t want God to be angry with us, and if we do not want to deal with the consequences of getting in bed with the world, all we need to do is return to God. Like the father waiting for the prodigal son to come back, God is watching and waiting for us to turn back to him. If we acknowledge our rebellion, God will stop being angry.
In your life, where are you flirting or even cheating with the world? Are you willing to admit walking that line, and would you consider stepping off the line and back toward God?