Jeremiah 2:19 ends with the statement, “And the dread of Me is not in you,” declares the Lord GOD of hosts” (NASB). The use of the word, “dread,” occurs only here in the whole Bible. It comes from startlement that produces fear or awe. Webster’s Dictionary says that it means the state of being strongly impressed by something unexpected or unusual. Synonyms include amazement, astonishment, shock, stupefication, surprise. Related words are awe, wonder or wonderment.
The Israelites had lost their awe and wonder at the Lord and His miraculous works. They had become commonplace miracles. And when the neighbors could lure them into worship of man-made bits of wood or crafted metals or demonic rituals and away from God, they did so. If your neighbor has an amazing, miraculous, powerful and awe-inspiring God, and you have to face them and compete with them, wouldn’t you want to stop them from having that supply to help them overcome you? I personally would hope to get closer to that God, even though it meant changing my behaviors to line up with Him. No one wants to be wrong. It is such a drive in America that we would rather say, “I lied,” rather than admit we are wrong (because then “we meant to do that” instead of being in error).
We see the Israelites turning from God to be like their neighbors in having an earthly king instead of God being King. They also had a God of amazing ability and love for them, but they wanted what the neighbors had instead of what they already possessed. Why do we quickly trade what God has given us for cheap counterfeits instead of treasuring what the loving hand of God has provided. Providence is ours from a loving Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
We find today that sin behaviors often likes to lure others down into the mire, to trip up those doing well and pull them down to where the person is. If we can get the good person to engage in the sin, that makes the sin ok, right? Christians are trying to pull others up to God and His love and abundant, miraculous life. Others are trying to get you to engage in their sins, their false beliefs, their wooden idols or technologically supplied “wonders.” They are trying to numb themselves from pain and distract themselves from their mistakes and shortfalls. Our God heals pain and wounded hearts grow healthy.
“Dread God” is the motto of Clan Munro in Scotland. We too should be in awe of God, experiencing wonder that the God of this universe would include us in with His chosen people. That He wants relationship with us directly. That He wants to spend time with us each day, all day. That He has miracles for us to experience and good works to perform. This is wonderful, and we should be filled with wonder at our God, His sacrificial love, His plans for us to prosper us and give us abundant life. Accept no substitutes for the very best—Father, Son and Holy Ghost fully active in your life. Worship the triune God. He is worthy. He is waiting for you today. Won’t you ask Him into your heart? Won’t you let Him into your life? Won’t you let Him be King and adventure with Him to slay dragons and to save and rescue others? Won’t you experience the quiet peace He brings to our hearts, the joy of seeing nature’s beauty or hearing the giggle of a baby? The finer things are with God so let’s pursue Him and take others with us into Wonderland. May your cup be full.
Love, Pastor John