Daily Devotional – Monday, May 10, 2021
“Now this is what the LORD says: ‘I will uproot from their land all the evil nations reaching out for the possession I gave my people Israel. And I will uproot Judah from among them. But afterward I will return and have compassion on all of them. I will bring them home to their own lands again, each nation to its own possession. And if these nations truly learn the ways of my people, and if they learn to swear by my name, saying, “As surely as the LORD lives” (just as they taught my people to swear by the name of Baal), then they will be given a place among my people.’” (Jeremiah 12:14-16, NLT)
Jeremiah had the unenviable task of delivering God’s pronouncements of judgement on the people of Judah as well as the surrounding nations; the Babylonians were coming to exact God’s justice. But Jeremiah’s message also contained immense hope for anyone who chose to accept God’s words through his prophet. God would bring them back and not only that, all the nations would be given a place among God’s specially chosen people, if they would only choose to acknowledge him and put away their false gods.
This message was not well-received by the Israelites who saw themselves as exclusively ‘God’s chosen people.’ Why should they be treated the same as all the surrounding heathen nations? Why should they suffer exile? Why would God give a place to the enemy in their midst? Quite frankly, the Jewish nation had missed the mark. Yes, they had been specially chosen, but to what purpose? Their purpose was to show the other nations the way to God, but they had instead assumed exclusive rights to his affections. God had directed them not to follow the evil practices of the other nations, but they misunderstood God’s intent. He had wanted them to be different, to serve as a real-life example of a people set apart to him for the sake of his righteousness, not as a people who were somehow superior to all others for having been set apart.
As the Church, we too have sometimes fallen into this very same trap of assuming a superiority that does not exist. We have been set apart to serve as examples for others of the kind of relationship they too can have with God. God doesn’t play favourites. Jesus came for all, not a handful of humanity. We all must choose, but the simple act of choosing to make Jesus the decision-maker for our lives does not somehow grant us any type of spiritual superiority. God should receive full credit. God has made it clear that there is only one thing we can boast about, “But those who wish to boast, should boast in this alone: that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD, who demonstrates unfailing love and who brings justice and righteousness to the earth, and that I delight in these things. I, the LORD, have spoken”(Jeremiah 9:24).
Those of us who serve Jesus are to share his good news with everyone. Don’t leave anyone out! The Church is not to be an exclusive club—all can be chosen.
First licensed for pastoral ministry in 1994, Pastor Jane Peck has served in camp and church ministries in three denominations, five provinces and in a variety of roles. Her most recent position is that of Pastor at Hope Chapel which she began in 2020. She is excited to see what God can and will do in the days to come!