S (Scripture): Jeremiah 30:3 The time is coming, declares the Lord, when I will bring back my people Israel and Judah from captivity, says the Lord. I will bring them home to the land that I gave to their ancestors, and they will possess it. 4 Here are the words that the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah:
Why have all turned pale?
7 That day is awful, beyond words.
A time of unspeakable pain
for my people Jacob.
But they will be delivered from it.
8 At that time, I will break the yoke off their necks and remove their shackles. Foreigners will no longer enslave them, declares the Lord of heavenly forces. 9 They will serve the Lord their God and the king whom I will raise up for them from David’s family.
10 So don’t be afraid, my servant Jacob,
declares the Lord,
Don’t lose hope, Israel.
I will deliver you from faraway places
and your children from the land of their exile.
My people Jacob will again be safe and sound,
with no one harassing them.
11 I am with you and will rescue you,
declares the Lord.
O (Observation): Jeremiah is given a word of hope to share with God’s people. God’s people are about to head out into exile (to Babylon). God declares again that the people of Judah or Israel. God will not be forgotten, nor will God abandon them.
God acknowledges that the leaders of Judah and Israel have looked away from God for hope and salvation. This is the result: they will be left to their own powers, which are not enough to save themselves. God will show them, however, God’s might, as God will rescue the people.
Will God’s people learn from their mistakes? Maybe.
Will they ever make another mistake? Yeah, sure. You betcha!
A (Application): When was the last time you made a mistake (of your own doing)? Did you learn from it? Thought so.
And yet…you will likely make a similar mistake – or a new, more glorious mistake – and you will need to learn from that mistake, too, yes? Yes.
Mistakes are not bad, as long as we learn from them. But even so, we will err. And we will likely find that we’ve corrected our mistakes only to make newer mistakes down the road.
Success, finding zero-fault…these are silly ways of seeking power and wisdom in this world.
Instead, we fall…living in a fallen creation, and when recovery time comes, we receive mercy from God. In this way, we acknowledge the Divine Love. We fail. We fall. God redeems. God picks us up. We realize that no set of Laws or rules will make us “successful Christians.” Instead, the fall and the mercy. This is God’s way…showing up with mercy after the brokenness appears.
God and God’s people do not cause natural disasters, by the way… I’m not at all trying to hint at that. I’m simply trying to acknowledge that brokenness exists in the world…and God is here to show mercy when that brokenness moves in, front and center, like in a hurricane, or like in a mistake we make in our personal lives.
Let us hope that we learn of God’s presence in the recovery efforts in Texas as the people recover from Hurricane Harvey. Let us learn that God picks us up, when we fall and when we fail.
P (Prayer): Lord God, watch over all who enter clean up efforts in TX and give affected residents hope that they will be able to come back “home.” Amen.