Tuesday, October 16, 2007

16/10/07 Tues after 20ith Sunday after Pentecost, Ridley, Latimer and Cramner

Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2007 Martyr Longinos, Centurion Who Stood at the
Cross of the Lord
Kellia: Jeremiah 50:1-13 Epistle: Colossians 1:1-2,
7-11 Gospel: St. Luke 9:23-27

Jeremiah's Later Ministry IV ~ Wisdom: Man's & God's: Jeremiah 50:1-13 LXX,
especially vs. 2, "All the men who had spoken to Jeremiah, [said], It is
false: the Lord has not
sent thee to us, saying, Enter not into Egypt to dwell there." Why
would anyone ask a man of
God - a Prophet, a Confessor, or a Pastor - for a word from the Lord,
for godly wisdom to guide
him in the course that he should take (Jer. 49:3), but then reject the
counsel he receives? Ponder
the question, because avoidance of this sort is all too common. How
often we fall back from
God's truth and rely on human wisdom! The change of heart recorded in
the present verses
points directly at a perverse preference for man's logic rather than for
God's. It is the reason
Jeremiah prayed, "O Lord...let all that have left Thee be ashamed, let
them that have revolted be
written on earth because they have forsaken the fountain of life, the
Lord" (Jer. 12:13).

Both "the leaders of the host, and all the people" (Jer. 50:4)
projected onto Jeremiah the
instability that was in their own hearts. Having just agreed to follow
the word of the Lord, they
said of the Prophet's message, "It is false: the Lord has not sent thee
to us" (Jer. 50:2). They
could not quite say that the Lord's wisdom was faulty, so they said,
"Baruch the son of Neriah
sets thee against us" (vs. 3). Inability to accept God's wisdom, leads
those in doubt to accuse the
godly of deceit (vs. 2), or of being deceived (vs. 3). We avoid God's
wisdom by dismissing His
messengers as sinners and what they teach as false. The Pharisees did
this very thing with the
Lord Jesus Himself: "Thou bearest witness of Thyself; Thy witness is not
true" (Jn. 8:13).

Do you see the contradiction in the logic of Azariah, Johanan and
the others (Jer. 50:2)?
They insinuated that, if they were to accept that Jeremiah's word from
the Lord, then they would
be certainly delivered "into the hands of the Chaldeans," to kill them
carry them away as captives
to Babylon (vs.3). If you doubt Jeremiah's prophecy or that God will
let tyrannies over take you,
then the Babylons of this age will enslave you - fear of death and the
indulgences of this life.

The remnants of God's people wanted to stay in the promised land,
yet they chose exile in
Egypt. When we give in to our sins, our Egypts, the like them we choose
the Egypt of slavery
instead of Life and freedom in Christ. Human reasoning mars our choice
and defeats our true
desire. St Paul asks, "Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this
world?" (1 Cor 1:20). It is
far better to obey God with alacrity and to grow in His wisdom, love,
and freedom - living.

As so often is the case, men prefer the Egypts of this world. The
leaders of the host took
the remnant of Judah who were left "to dwell in the land" (vs. 5) -
along with Jeremiah and
Baruch - and "they came into Egypt: for they hearkened not to the voice
of the Lord" (vs. 7).
How clever we men think we are! Once the group arrived, however, the
Lord gave them another
word. Their worst fears would be realized: Nebuchadnezzar "shall enter
in, and smite the land of
Egypt, delivering some for death to death; and some for captivity to
captivity; and some for the
sword to the sword" (vs. 11). How painful to have bitterness take you
in life. Jeremiah is a true
Prophet of God! The Chaldeans successfully invaded Egypt - and demons
wait to enslave you.

Pray to the Lord about any preference in yourself for man's wisdom
rather than for God's.
When you have defied the wisdom of God, have not bitter consequences
followed? God's
commandments, the teachings of His Prophets, the wisdom of the Holy
Fathers, expose the
futility of any man's wisdom. As St. Symeon the New Theologian says,
"the worldly wise...are
fools, spouting an inane secular wisdom, the stupidity of which God has

O Christ, Thou Wisdom Divine, help us with Thy grace to repent of
our folly and to
accept the true teaching of Thy Holy Spirit in its purity and integrity,
carrying it out faithfully.

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