like a traveler
Jeremiah 14:1-10 (JDV)
Jeremiah 14:1 This is the word of Yahveh that came to Jeremiah concerning the drought:
Jeremiah 14:2 Judah mourns; her city gates languish. Her people are on the ground in mourning; Jerusalem’s cry rises up.
Jeremiah 14:3 Their nobles send their servants for water. They go to the cisterns; they find no water; their containers return empty. They are ashamed and humiliated; they cover their heads.
Jeremiah 14:4 The ground is cracked since no rain has fallen on the land. The farmers are ashamed; they cover their heads.
Jeremiah 14:5 Even the doe in the field gives birth and abandons her fawn since there is no grass.
Jeremiah 14:6 Wild donkeys stand on the barren heights panting for breath like jackals. Their eyes fail because there are no green plants.
Jeremiah 14:7 Though our violations testify against us, Lord, act for your name’s sake. Indeed, our rebellions are many; we have failed you.
Jeremiah 14:8 Hope of Israel, its Savior in time of distress, why are you like a resident alien in the land, like a traveler stopping only for the night?
Jeremiah 14:9 Why are you like a helpless man, like a warrior unable to save? Yet you are among us, Lord, and we bear your name. Don’t leave us!
Jeremiah 14:10 This is what Yahveh says concerning these people: Truly they love to wander; they never rest their feet. So Yahveh does not accept them. Now he will remember their violation and punish their failures.
like a traveler
I have traveled to many parts of the world, and had many adventures. I always liked traveling, but I have to admit, it wears thin after a while. When you travel, you sometimes see old friends and make new ones, but it is always temporary. Even if you are fortunate enough to actually live on assignment for several years in a place, you are always a traveler – a resident alien, never really putting down roots.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem had started to think of God that way. He felt like someone who comes and goes – and who has decided to flow out of the city with the last stream of water. They knew that God was still among them, but they did not feel like he was committed enough to help. Yet they also knew he was the only one who could.
Jeremiah’s job was to correct the people’s understanding about God, and about themselves. It was actually the people who love to wander and never rest their feet. They are the ones who were abandoning him.
Lord, we are prone to wander. Bring your prodigals home, and meet us on the way!