“Jeremiah, go talk to your God for us and find out what we’re supposed to do…” Jerusalem was decimated by Babylon and only a few remained. They’d abandoned the God of their ancestors, and now it seemed their very existence was all but lost. But there was Jeremiah. Unflinchingly delivering message after message from God to the king and to his people. So in Jeremiah 42, the few who are left go and ask Jeremiah to pray to his God to find out what they should do.
They were desperate and turned to a God whom they did not recognize as their own. “Pray to your God…” Generations had drifted so far that the people of Judah didn’t even recognize the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (their ancestors) as their own.
But God continually reminded them of His desire to be their God. He promised a new covenant unlike the first covenant that they had broken. He offered His law written in their hearts, not just on scrolls and tablets. In Jeremiah 31, Hosea, Ezekiel 37, 2 Corinthians 6, Hebrews 8, and Revelation 21 – scripture uses the same language to describe a day when “They will be my people, and I will be their God.”
Today in the church, the people of God, it seems there is a great danger of a generation adrift failing to recognize God’s desire to be their God. Anecdotal evidence points to a very high percentage of young people leaving the church as they enter young adulthood. It seems that though they’ve connected with their peers in youth group, they’ve not connected with God Himself or the wider Body of Christ. Their faith is perhaps only a thin veneer, subtly stripped away by the questions of life.
I believe that we can do a better job of connecting young people with their Creator who loves them desperately. We can help them see that God is not only the God of Grandma and Grandpa – He desires to be their God as well.
Sadly, the people in Jeremiah 42, though they promised to do whatever he said, put their trust in another nation instead of in God. They disobeyed yet again, and were destroyed in their false refuge. May God lead His people today to connect young people to Himself. May His people follow His lead.