Jeremiah 11:1-8, 14-17
Not continuing with piano lessons taught me quite a lesson. There are repercussions when a person doesn’t follow thru with something they said they were going to do.
I liked the “idea” of playing the piano. I loved listening to my mother play the piano for hours as I waited for sleep to take hold of me. She made playing the piano look so easy, or so I thought.
On the really nice weather days, I had the most difficulty with attending to my piano lessons. I’d want to be outside playing and not trying to play some really random notes that made no sense to me. Practicing piano lessons was a frustrating time for me. There were times when I just didn’t even understand where I was supposed to start. When my piano teacher was with me, she was the one who encouraged me through things. She must have known I wasn’t enjoying it.
When I was practicing my piano lessons, my teacher was not present. That’s the way it is when you learn something. At some point you have to be alone and try it by yourself. During practice, everything she taught me went out the window. The notes meant nothing to me. They were just a bunch of notes and nothing like the beautiful music my mother played.
I think piano lessons might have worked for me. I remember listening to my mother play from her music and I tried to get the tune set in my head. At times I would peek between the stair rails from upstairs and see if I could memorize what she was doing. I think I had an ear for music and maybe I just needed a teacher who would guide my ear and my fingers to connect. My frustration took hold of me. I just didn’t get it.
If I had known back then what I know today about me, I would have asked my teacher to play the notes thru like they were to be played and then I would have watched and memorized the keys and listened to the end result she was working toward. How many “play it by ear” teachers are there?
11:1 The Message that came to Jeremiah from GOD: 2 “Preach to the people of Judah and citizens of Jerusalem. 3 Tell them this: ‘This is GOD’S Message, the Message of Israel’s God to you. Anyone who does not keep the terms of this covenant is cursed. 4 The terms are clear. I made them plain to your ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt, out of the iron furnace of suffering. “‘Obey what I tell you. Do exactly what I command you. Your obedience will close the deal. You’ll be mine and I’ll be yours. 5 This will provide the conditions in which I will be able to do what I promised your ancestors: to give them a fertile and lush land. And, as you know, that’s what I did.’”
“Yes, GOD,” I replied. “That’s true.”
6 GOD continued: “Preach all this in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem. Say, ‘Listen to the terms of this covenant and carry them out! 7 I warned your ancestors when I delivered them from Egypt and I’ve kept up the warnings. I haven’t quit warning them for a moment. I warned them from morning to night: “Obey me or else!” 8 But they didn’t obey. They paid no attention to me. They did whatever they wanted to do, whenever they wanted to do it, until finally I stepped in and ordered the punishments set out in the covenant, which, despite all my warnings, they had ignored.’”
14 “And as for you, Jeremiah, I don’t want you praying for this people. Nothing! Not a word of petition. Indeed, I’m not going to listen to a single syllable of their crisis-prayers.”
15 “What business do the ones I love have figuring out how to get off the hook? And right in the house of worship! Do you think making promises and devising pious programs will save you from doom? Do you think you can get out of this by becoming more religious? 16 A mighty oak tree, majestic and glorious— that’s how I once described you. But it will only take a clap of thunder and a bolt of lightning to leave you a shattered wreck.
17 “I, GOD of-the-Angel-Armies, who planted you—yes, I have pronounced doom on you. Why? Because of the disastrous life you’ve lived, Israel and Judah alike, goading me to anger with your continuous worship and offerings to that sorry god Baal.”
Time after time, God’s people had been reminded to simply obey God. That was their part of the covenant. It was so very simple, but the people ignored God’s warning. And they were tired of Jeremiah and his message of doom and gloom. God defended Jeremiah and told him to not even lift up Israel in his prayers. It would do no good.
Have you ever said you were going to do something and then not do it? Did you have any regrets for not doing whatever it was you said you would do? Have you ever told God that you were going to do something and then you didn’t follow thru? Do you believe God ever gives up on us? Have a day!
In Conversation with a child today: Ask a child to tell you about some things they have promised to do
Remember in Prayer: The Toon family, The Guerra family, Sara & family, Al & Mary, Diana, Vivian, Aaron, Margaret, Marc, Sharon, Josh, Herb’s family, Lynn, Vicki, Sue, Heidi, Kristin, Barbara, Karen, Jim, Angela, Tim, Jeremy, Dick, Diane, Frank & Jean, Barb, Sue
And those experiencing loss – family and friends of: Mary Lynn, Luis, Nita, Nancy, Edward, Doris, Angela
Prayer: O God, we begin this day in you. We begin with our resolve to walk in your ways and be guided by you. Help us to give each other a little slack like we would want when we don’t quite follow thru with something we said we would do. Help us in following thru with our commitments. Amen
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©2017 Lucia Oerter
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