And there are often times when I look in the rear vision mirror and am quite disappointed in what I see.
Reference: v.17 “Like a wind from the east, I will scatter them before their enemies; I will show them my back and not my face in the day of their disaster.” (NIV Bible)
Explore: Although I will no doubt come across as rather vain, I’m going to admit to you that while I am driving my car I look at my reflection in the rear vision mirror. I know that it’s there to assist my driving – and it does – but it also gives me a rather close perspective of my face. The only trouble I have with this reflection is that it only gives me what I look like from the eyes up. And there are often times when I look in the rear vision mirror and am quite disappointed in what I see. The issue usually comes from my hair as it’s not sitting the correct way or its bumpy in areas it should be smooth. And so I’ll start thinking of ways that I can readjust my hair when I get to the next set of lights. So the next chance I get to take my hands off the wheel I move my rear vision mirror so that it is directed at me and I can see my whole head. It’s then that I realise that when I take in the whole picture of my hair it all looks okay. While there may be a few bumps at the top of my head I realise that it works in well with the rest of the picture (well, as well as I can hope for with what I’ve been given!) Seeing the whole picture helps to put the close-up into perspective.
Application: As we read through Jeremiah we are getting a close up picture of God. To be honest, if the only picture I had of God was that which came from the book of Jeremiah, I think I would be scared of God and wonder whether he really is loving. However, when we look at the whole picture, from when God did miraculous things to bring His people out of slavery all the way to the huge sacrifice Jesus made for all of humanity, we are able to read Jeremiah and still see God’s love and compassion. While many of the verses talk about pain and destruction, when we know more of the character of God we are able to put it in perspective. We should not limit God by just taking a look at Him in the rear vision mirror, but we need to acknowledge that there is so much more to God than what is represented in just one verse.
Prayer: Lord, there is so much more that we can learn of your character and desires. Help us to understand You more and not to limit You to our understandings. Amen.
What is the prominent characteristic that you think of when it comes to God? How can you explore more about the diverseness of God?
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.
I enjoyed your rear view mirror explanation. But, I’m not sure your application is all that correct. Jerimiah is all about God’s love! Our father is so in love with His people He is warning them that if they do not come back to Him He will have to provide discipline. Today – at least the people I see – people think discipline is bad or wrong. Discipline is one way to show we care, to show we love, to show the truth! That is exactly what Jeremiah is called to do – show our Fathers love through discipline!
Thanks so much for adding your input to Jeremiah. You are right, God does show us love through discipline. I think I struggle to see that love when it’s written in such destructive ways of the Old Testament through Jeremiah.
In this post I was trying to encourage the reader to read Jeremiah through the extended knowledge we have of God’s character, so we are able to see his plan and purpose in how He acts.
I always appreciate hearing other people’s thoughts, and you have added in a great way to my blog today. Thank you.