14 day plan


Day 12 of 14


Jeremiah 17:14

Jeremiah’s Plea

14Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;

save me, and I will be saved,

for you are my praise.

Reflection: Imperfect healing

After their release from prison, Peter and John in Acts 4 pray that God would “stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”  This is one of a number of times we see prayers for healing in the New Testament. And we do see many healings, like the lame man in this story. In this time of coronavirus there will have been much faithful prayer, some healing, but some deaths as well. No doubt the topic of prayer and healing will occupy many Christians’ hearts and minds at this time.

We know that the Father does not always answer our prayers for healing in the way we might want. From one perspective this is an imperfect result, insofar as we continue to long for God’s new creation. From an eternal perspective, however, we see that people are “promoted to glory”, as the Salvo’s wonderful phrase puts it. We can comfort ourselves that in Christ we will one day be reunited with our brothers and sisters and experience the redemption of our bodies. That is a mix of present sadness and future joy that we all find hard – but our God has promised to be with us.

Prayer:  Dear Father, in my experience of peril on the earth, I turn to you. Whatever the turmoils and sadness I face, by your Spirit give me a glimpse into our real and certain future. Please be with all who mourn or are sick, making them especially aware of your love and care for them.

Jeremiah 17:1-27

The Persistent Sin of Judah

1The sin of Judah is inscribed

with an iron stylus.

With a diamond point

it is engraved on the tablet of their hearts

and on the horns of their altars,

2while their children remember their altars

and their Asherah poles, by the green trees

on the high hills —

3my mountains in the countryside.

I will give up your wealth

and all your treasures as plunder

because of the sin of your high places

in all your borders.

4You will, on your own, relinquish your inheritance

that I gave you.

I will make you serve your enemies

in a land you do not know,

for you have set my anger on fire;

it will burn forever.

Curse and Blessing

5This is what the Lord says:

Cursed is the person who trusts in mankind.

He makes human flesh his strength,

and his heart turns from the Lord.

6He will be like a juniper in the Arabah;

he cannot see when good comes

but dwells in the parched places in the wilderness,

in a salt land where no one lives.

7The person who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed.

8He will be like a tree planted by water:

it sends its roots out toward a stream,

it doesn’t fear when heat comes,

and its foliage remains green.

It will not worry in a year of drought

or cease producing fruit.

The Deceitful Heart

9The heart is more deceitful than anything else,

and incurable — who can understand it?

10I, the Lord, examine the mind,

I test the heart

to give to each according to his way,

according to what his actions deserve.

11He who makes a fortune unjustly

is like a partridge that hatches eggs it didn’t lay.

In the middle of his life

his riches will abandon him,

so in the end he will be a fool.

12A glorious throne

on high from the beginning

is the place of our sanctuary.

13Lord, the hope of Israel,

all who abandon you

will be put to shame.

All who turn away from me

will be written in the dirt,

for they have abandoned

the Lord, the fountain of living water.

Jeremiah’s Plea

14Heal me, Lord, and I will be healed;

save me, and I will be saved,

for you are my praise.

15Hear how they keep challenging me,

“Where is the word of the Lord?

Let it come!”

16But I have not run away from being your shepherd,

and I have not longed for the fatal day.

You know my words were spoken in your presence.

17Don’t become a terror to me.

You are my refuge in the day of disaster.

18Let my persecutors be put to shame,

but don’t let me be put to shame.

Let them be terrified, but don’t let me be terrified.

Bring on them the day of disaster;

shatter them with total destruction.

Observing the Sabbath

19This is what the Lord said to me, “Go and stand at the People’s Gate, through which the kings of Judah enter and leave, as well as at all the gates of Jerusalem. 20Announce to them, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, kings of Judah, all Judah, and all the residents of Jerusalem who enter through these gates. 21This is what the Lord says: Watch yourselves; do not pick up a load and bring it in through Jerusalem’s gates on the Sabbath day. 22Do not carry a load out of your houses on the Sabbath day or do any work, but keep the Sabbath day holy, just as I commanded your ancestors. 23They wouldn’t listen or pay attention but became obstinate, not listening or accepting discipline.

24“‘However, if you listen to me — this is the Lord’s declaration — and do not bring loads through the gates of this city on the Sabbath day, but keep the Sabbath day holy and do no work on it, 25kings and princes will enter through the gates of this city. They will sit on the throne of David; they will ride in chariots and on horses with their officials, the men of Judah, and the residents of Jerusalem. This city will be inhabited forever. 26Then people will come from the cities of Judah and from the area around Jerusalem, from the land of Benjamin and from the Judean foothills, from the hill country and from the Negev bringing burnt offerings and sacrifices, grain offerings and frankincense, and thanksgiving sacrifices to the house of the Lord. 27But if you do not listen to me to keep the Sabbath day holy by not carrying a load while entering the gates of Jerusalem on the Sabbath day, I will set fire to its gates, and it will consume the citadels of Jerusalem and not be extinguished.’”