A People For God
Jeremiah 13:11 (ESV) -- For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.
Christians often affirm certain things in our creeds, but live as if another thing were true. One of those things is our belief about the purpose of man and the origin of our creation. Christians affirm that every person is made by God’s purpose and design. There are no accidental people. Humans are created by God as image bearers of His character to the world. Yet we often live as if we are products of evolution that showed up in the world as a product of chance and randomness. We act as if we can carve out our own meanings and purposes for existence. We can’t. We have specific purpose.
Our passage today reminds us of this truth. The LORD speaks to Jeremiah in Jeremiah 13:11 and says, “For as the loincloth clings to the waist of a man, so I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the LORD, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory, but they would not listen.” God says that Israel was made for the purpose of clinging to Him. They were called into existence through the establishment of a covenant with Abraham. What was their unique call and design? To be for God a people, a name, a praise, and a glory. Their reason for existence was to glorify God and praise His name.
But God adds, “but they would not listen.” They didn’t live their lives to fulfill that purpose and calling. They chased false gods and tried to carve out a life according to their own will and wisdom. God declares that they didn’t fulfill their purpose. They were meant to be a people for God.
Christians must learn an important lesson from this. We too have this calling. The Messiah came from Israel, and all who are in Christ are grafted into Abraham. This means we share the calling of being a people, a name, a praise, and a glory. Our purpose in the world is to magnify Christ and obey Him. We do not want the same charge that was leveled at Israel, “but they would not listen.” Follow Him today. Give your life to the praise, glory, and name of the LORD.
Reflection & Journal:
- What are some ways Israel failed in their special calling?
- How does Jesus uniquely link us to Israel/Abraham?
- What should our lives look like today to fulfill our calling as the church?
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