Singleness of Heart and Action

April 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

What is it that God does when the going gets tough and we are overwhelmed by hardship?  Jeremiah 32 provides an answer.  The first five verses situate this chapter in the historical context of the second siege of Jerusalem just before the eventual fall of the city in 587.  Jeremiah is being held captive in the “court of the guard” (verse 2) because of his negative prophesies, which predicted the fall of the city and the capture of the king by the Babylonians.  And yet, despite the city’s impending destruction, the prophet’s message is ultimately a message of God’s hope in the midst of God’s judgment.  This message of hope, as the answer to what God does in such desperate situations, is primarily a promise:  “I will surely gather them… bring them back… they will be my people, and I will be their God.  I will give them singleness of heart and action… I will make an everlasting covenant with them.  I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them… I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them… I will restore their fortunes” (32:37-44).  Singleness of heart and action refers to our basic and most fundamental orientation in everything we are and do.  In the midst of difficult circumstances, God shows up with the promise that destruction would not have the final word, and that we only belong to God despite the power of these other forces of destruction.  Hold on to the promise!

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