Jeremiah 2:5 – This is what the Lord says: What wrong did your ancestors find in me that made them wander so far? They pursued what was worthless and became worthless. (CEB)
As Israel was to be the expression of God on earth, so the Church exists to express the love of God in Jesus Christ in all creation. Israel abandoned the faith required (and, therefore, supplied) by God and pursued their own religious ambitions, ambitiously striving for worthlessness. According to the evidence (vs. 14-37), on which path does the Church walk today?
Christ has brought us up from the place of slavery to bondage. Who desires, now, for Him to lead? Are we following Him through the land of no return, the place of shadowy death? —- They didn’t ask, “Where’s the Lord who brought us up from the land of Egypt, who led us through…a land…where no one survives” (vs. 6)? —- The Church has been positioned for plenty; opportunity to lavish God’s worldview over the land. Has it sought to serve itself, plentifully in its own religiously human worldview? —- …but you ruined my land; you disgraced my heritage (vs. 7). —- To where are the leaders of the Church leading? Do they know God? Do we value knowing exactly where God is moving today? —- The priests didn’t ask, “Where’s the Lord?” Those responsible…didn’t know me; they rebelled against me…going after what has no value (vs. 8). —- We are positioned for plenty, but plenty of what?
The issue does not lie in the fact that the gathered were a nation called Israel, or a people called Church, but that those gathered are people. Humanity’s glory is its expression of God. Has the Church, like Israel, distorted that expression; blurring it with its own corrupt humanness, exchanging the required (and, therefore, supplied) faith of Christ for our own religious human expression? —- Has a nation switched gods, though they aren’t really god at all? Yet my people have exchanged their glory for what has no value (vs. 11). —- As Israel mistakenly elevated stone, mortar, and gold, has the Church mistaken itself for brick-and-mortar and money? Have we, too, buried the Spring of Living Water? With broken fingernails are we making ourselves waterless wells? —- My people have committed two crimes: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water. And they have dug wells, broken wells that can’t hold water (vs. 13). —- Regardless, God has not abandoned Israel or His Church, but stands with outstretched, crucified hands ready to welcome us all back into the glory of His worldview.