Jeremiah Appointed as Examiner

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Jeremiah 5:14-6:30, Psalm 95:1-11, Micah 6:6-8

We used to own a truck with over 300,000 miles on it. I loved driving it. The leather was cracked and most of the dashboard lights were burned out. But easing it down a country road with all the windows down made me feel like the wind was at my back and things were going just my way.

There was one light, however, that wasn’t burned out: the check engine light. I took it to our favorite mechanic and he looked me square in the eye, “Stop driving this vehicle immediately—one wrong bump and the whole chassis is going to collapse off the axle. This truck will fail disastrously, and soon.” Driving home that afternoon, I considered his words: How soon? How ‘disastrous’ are we talking? How big of a bump? He was probably exaggerating—what even is an axle anyway?

Things can look just fine on the surface, but rumbling beneath, the true worth will eventually reveal itself. In the case of my truck, it was a catastrophic failure waiting to happen. I thought I could depend on that old truck, but it couldn’t stand up in a way that mattered desperately. In the case of Israel, God appointed Jeremiah as an “assayer” to determine what they were made of—and if they would be able to stand up (Jeremiah 6:27). An assayer is a “refiner,” one who tests the composition of minerals and determines their value. The Lord goes so far as to declare they are so stubborn that they “are bronze and iron; all of them are corrupt” (v.28). But no amount of blasting with fire will reveal valuable metals because the people have rejected the word of the Lord (v.17).

The culture described in these chapters is a startling reminder of my own: “they have grown powerful and rich… fat and sleek… [and] excelled in evil matters… and they have not defended the rights of the needy” (Jeremiah 5:27–28). God is calling us to listen to His words and turn from the enticements of this world. He warns that we will be measured and the truth of our hearts will be revealed.

Who can stand in the face of such an examination? Even though my friendly truck seemed fine to me, it’s impending disaster could not be hidden from the experienced eye of a mechanic. If we persist in not using our eyes to see or our ears to hear—if we refuse to listen to the Lord, our devastation is sure. Indeed, it is our own sins that withhold the Lord’s bounty from us (Jeremiah 5:25).

If you are determined not to listen, you cannot stand up to a close examination. But set your feet in obedience to the Lord and He will change the quality of your heart, and deeper examination will reveal the value of His own shining goodness in you. Today if you hear His voice—in His word, in His creation, through His people—do not harden your heart, but listen and worship (Psalm 95:8).

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75 thoughts on "Jeremiah Appointed as Examiner"

  1. Pam Stayer says:

    I am determined to listen! ❤️

  2. Megan McCoy says:

    Justice. Kindness. Walk Humbly. Today’s reading hit home hard. Are we truly following the Lord? Are we listening? Actually hearing His words? Are we seeing? Actually opening our eyes? He is the only one, the only thing, we can depend on 100%. He is were our every move should come from. We are these people in the story that the Lord is angry with. We are no different than them. We are sinners. If we turn away from God, we turn away from what is good and holy and just. Let’s focus on turning back toward God. This past year was rough + we all felt lost at some point. We all lost hope and faith at some time or another. It’s a new year. Let’s fill it full of hope, kindness, justice, faith, and walk a little more humble (okay-a lot more humble!). God bless you all & much love!

  3. Lisa Misenhimer says:

    And what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God. Amen

  4. Laurajane Barry says:

    Wow, this passage is hitting so close to home in the midst of this quarantine/pandemic. How easy it is for me, when I feel lonely or restless, to resort to idols as a form of temporary comfort in the moment to moment when God is the real, true resource that I need.
    I pray that He would really grip each of our hearts in a very specific way during this time that will strengthen us and give us powerful new perspectives

  5. Arre Fuller says:

    Old Testament text can be a lot for my finite mind this ending statement from today’s reading settled my heart –

    He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
    but to do justice, and to love kindness,
    and to walk humbly with your God?