What wrong did your ancestors find in me
that made them wander so far?
They pursued what was worthless
and became worthless…. I brought you into a good land,
a land filled with many good things.
I did this so that you could eat the fruit and crops that grow there.
But you only made my land ‘dirty.’
I gave that land to you,
but you made it a bad place. – Jeremiah:
I am not one of those people who lets the Bible fall open, closes my eyes, puts my finger on a random verse, then reads it as “today’s word from God.” My engagement with the text involves study guides, reading entire books or chapters, references that come from devotionals and messages, and a growing familiarity with the broad sweep of the biblical narrative that brings different portions of scripture to mind in response to study and prayer.
Part of the reading from Jeremiah – above – was quoted in today’s daily meditation from The Upper Room. Before I read it I had been talking with God about how I can possibly write about some of the things I am concerned about in Washington DC without becoming ensnared in politics.
Then I read these words from Jeremiah and what I realized was that our “issues” run a lot deeper than the rantings of an uncouth, morally bankrupt figurehead.
Fact is, “pursuing what is worthless” has become a kind of engine driving our national priorities. We have moved away from the calling to serve one another and be a blessing to the world and have chosen instead to worship materialism at the expense of compassion, and justice, and grace, and righteousness.
There is a sad prescience in the words of Jeremiah.
We can do better; and we must. But the problem is more than political, or even ideological, it is spiritual.
So what should we pursue other than “what is worthless?” The scriptures help here, too. I understand that this passage is so well-used that it has become a kind of cliché, but I really can’t think of anything more appropriate in response to the current “goings on”.
He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God. – Micah 6:8
Walk humbly with God. Just do it. Each and every one of us. And God will direct our paths. – DEREK
Derek has published seven books in the past decade (you can find them at https://www.amazon.com/Derek-Maul/e/B001JS9WC4), and there’s always something new in the works.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Derek taught public school in Florida for eighteen years, including cutting-edge work with autistic children. He holds bachelor’s degrees in psychology and education from Stetson University and the University of West Florida.
Derek is active in teaching at his church: adult Sunday school, and a men’s Bible study/spiritual formation group. He enjoys the outdoors, traveling, photography, reading, cooking, playing guitar, and golf.