Johanan and his group were already on their way to Egypt when they visited Jeremiah, supposedly to ask for God's direction on where they should go, vowing to do whatever God said through his prophet. But when God told them to stay in Judah, instead of telling them to go to Egypt like they had planned, they called Jeremiah a liar and refused to obey God. They had not come to seek God's direction, they had wanted a rubber stamp of approval for the plan they already made.
How often do we do the same? We make our plans and then, as an afterthought, quickly pray that God will bless our plans. Sometimes we even pray that God would make it clear if we are not to go ahead - but do we actually wait to hear the answer and listen with an open and willing heart to see if God has a different plan? We shouldn't make plans unless we are willing to have God change them, and we shouldn't pray unless we are willing to accept God's answer.
In our NT passage, I always love the telling of the temple curtain being torn in two. The curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place was torn, symbolizing that the barrier between God and man was removed. We are all free to approach God because of Christ's sacrifice for our sins. This was a huge, thick curtain - tearing it in two was clearly a supernatural event.
There were other miraculous events that occurred at the time of Christ's death - darkness (from yesterday's passage), the tearing of the temple curtain, an earthquake, and people rising from the dead. There was no way Jesus' death went unnoticed - everyone had to know that something significant had happened. Yet, clearly many people either explained it away, dismissed it, or someone managed to ignore it.
People often say that they would believe if only they would see an obvious miracle. And yet it is clear from this passage, and others like it, that that is not true. People often have many excuses for why they are not believers - in the end it usually comes down to an unwillingness to humble themselves and to give up their sin.
Today is the day our oldest daughter is getting baptized. I am thankful for her willingness to be obedient in taking this step in her spiritual journey, humbling herself, and publicly declaring her need for a Saviour.
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Jeremiah 46-47; Matthew 28