Daily Reflection
July 23rd, 2004
Sue Crawford
Political Science and International Studies
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­ “Two evils have my people done, they have forsaken me, the source of living waters; they have dug for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water.
In the reading from Jeremiah God calls the rebellious children to return and promises to provide wise shepherds for them.  The psalm develops images of how glorious life will be when God guards and shepherds His flock.
What is the rebellion that these verses from Jeremiah stress?  Dancing around a golden calf?  Engaging in wild promiscuous behavior?  Well, I must confess that I am not a scholar of Jeremiah, so I may be interpreting these verses too literally, but the rebellion sounds like a rebellion of self-sufficiency.  The people are forsaking all God wants to give them and instead insisting on taking matters into their own hands.  The verses in Jeremiah express God’s utter frustration at this ­ “the heavens will be amazed and shudder with sheer horror.”  As the parent of a four year old I can certainly relate to the feeling of frustration that results from a child refusing advice and insisting on doing things himself, regardless of the consequences.  Often doing something the way my son wants to do it becomes more important than accomplishing the initial goal, and then he gets so intent on having his own way that he does the task (whatever it is) even more poorly.
Today we can reflect on the goodness of God’s provision and repent from our own rebellion of self-sufficiency.  The parable of the seed offer useful images for this reflection.  Are we spending too much of our time and attention tending to the thorns that choke us?  Are we spending enough time taking sustenance from the good soil of God’s provision?  God promises to guard and shepherd us so that we can bear much fruit.  Are we willing to try to live out that belief today by giving more attention to God’s provision and wisdom than to fighting thorns or digging broken cisterns?


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