God’s Covenant with David
Open Your Bible
Jeremiah 33:1-26, Jeremiah 34:1-22, Psalm 107:19-22, Romans 8:16-17
Kids have an uncanny knack for extending their bedtime routine way longer than it needs to last. They try delaying the inevitable by distracting you with all manner of things, like missing pajamas, a long-winded yarn about a sibling, or a third reading of Goodnight, Moon. Unless your kid is one of those miracle children who quickly settles into sleep, as soon as you turn off the lights and shut the door, you hear it: the call of distress.
Sometimes you answer right away. Sometimes you don’t (especially if you know the routine like the back of your hand). Eventually, you may have to let the child’s cries for one more story go unmet for the evening, even when your heart moves with the desire to give in because, at the end of the day, you can only read Goodnight, Moon so many times.
But God always wants us to call out to Him in our distress. We see this after the word of the Lord comes to Jeremiah a second time and God says, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:1,3). Our cries for help are really opportunities for connection with Him, for sharing great and incomprehensible things with us. As with Jeremiah, these “things” aren’t self-evident based on our experience, but given to us as insight and revelation that comes from a life of walking with God. They come from a life of crying out to Him and waiting for Him to answer. Early on in life, Jeremiah received a crash course in this practice, one that was necessary in order to follow in the steps God had prepared for his life.
The Book of Psalms also features this theme prominently. “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; he saved them from their distress” (Psalm 107:19). This call and response pattern repeats itself in beautiful depictions of God saving people from places of despondency caused by internal or external circumstances, and sometimes, both. Again and again, we hear God answering them when the time is right and with just the right antidote.
God urges us to cry out for help, like a child. We are His children, after all, and we don’t exist outside of His provision no matter how autonomous we may feel. Just like the familiar pages of a well-loved storybook, God longs to comfort us in our distress (Isaiah 30:18). Just as a parent answers a child in their distress because they hate the darkness, God wants to answer us in ours, to meet us in our need. His response to our affliction, and His timing, may look as different as the affliction itself, but He never leaves us in our distress.