Lord, dismiss us with your blessing;
Fill our hearts with joy and peace;
Let us each, your love possessing,
Triumph in redeeming grace.
Oh refresh us, Oh refresh us,
Trav'ling through this wilderness. (Christian Worship 329 v. 1)
Both readings today reference the Israelites traveling through the wilderness from Egypt to rest in the Promised Land. As the LORD watched over the Israelites, may he watch over us as we travel day by day to our Promised Land.
Jeremiah 1-2 (click here)
The prophet Jeremiah begins his ministry in the 13th year of King Josiah (627 BC). This is just one year after Josiah began his reformation efforts (see 2 Chronicles 34:1-3). Jeremiah's ministry continued over 40 years until God brought judgment on the nation of Judah, using the Babylonian army to destroy Jerusalem in 586 BC. Jeremiah calls people to repentance for their idolatry. Archaeology exposes that idolatry. Thousands of Judean Pillar Figurines (see picture below), dated from the time of Jeremiah have been found in the ruins of Jerusalem and other cities.
The temple worship continued, but God saw that people's hearts were far from Him. The Judean Pillar Figurines are not found in homes dated after the exile. The exile served as a powerful call to repentance that was heard. As we read Jeremiah over the next couple of weeks, may we hear our God's call to repentance. May we turn from the idols set up in our hearts and turn to our gracious Savior God to find rest.
Sabbath Rest - Hebrews 3:7-4:16 (click here)
I suggest rereading a portion from yesterday for better context. The author quotes Psalm 95 as a call to repentance. God's people were so blessed during the Wilderness Wandering, yet many did not believe and never entered the rest of the Promised Land. So too, God holds out a Sabbath Rest for us as we travel through the wilderness of this life. Hold on to Christ so that we might enter that eternal rest.
"Oh, refresh us! Oh, refresh us! Traveling through this wilderness." Amen.