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Fed Up

Jeremiah 12

Jeremiah’s Question

Righteous are You, O Lord, when I plead with You;
Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?
2 You have planted them, yes, they have taken root;
They grow, yes, they bear fruit.
You are near in their mouth
But far from their mind.

3 But You, O Lord, know me;
You have seen me,
And You have tested my heart toward You.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
And prepare them for the day of slaughter.
4 How long will the land mourn,
And the herbs of every field wither?
The beasts and birds are consumed,
For the wickedness of those who dwell there,
Because they said, “He will not see our final end.”

The Lord Answers Jeremiah

5 “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
Then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you,
Then how will you do in the floodplain[a] of the Jordan?
6 For even your brothers, the house of your father,
Even they have dealt treacherously with you;
Yes, they have called a multitude after you.
Do not believe them,
Even though they speak smooth words to you.

7 “I have forsaken My house, I have left My heritage;
I have given the dearly beloved of My soul into the hand of her enemies.
8 My heritage is to Me like a lion in the forest;
It cries out against Me;
Therefore I have hated it.
9 My heritage is to Me like a speckled vulture;
The vultures all around are against her.
Come, assemble all the beasts of the field,
Bring them to devour!

10 “Many rulers[b] have destroyed My vineyard,
They have trodden My portion underfoot;
They have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it desolate;
Desolate, it mourns to Me;
The whole land is made desolate,
Because no one takes it to heart.
12 The plunderers have come
On all the desolate heights in the wilderness,
For the sword of the Lord shall devour
From one end of the land to the other end of the land;
No flesh shall have peace.
13 They have sown wheat but reaped thorns;
They have put themselves to pain but do not profit.
But be ashamed of your harvest
Because of the fierce anger of the Lord.”

14 Thus says the Lord: “Against all My evil neighbors who touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit—behold, I will pluck them out of their land and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. 15 Then it shall be, after I have plucked them out, that I will return and have compassion on them and bring them back, everyone to his heritage and everyone to his land. 16 And it shall be, if they will learn carefully the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be established in the midst of My people.17 But if they do not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation,” says the Lord.

Observation

God is perfect and detests iniquity. Injustice, even when it seems to be winning, will not prosper.

Application

When we are fatigued by the evil we see, we must remember that God too is incensed by it and is in the midst of it employing devices of justice. 

 

Today’s Prayer

Lord help us not to be overwhelmed. Let us remember that You are the overcomer, our champion who is right there with us in the midst of every circumstance. We thank You for being the greatest example of empathy we could ever have. We ask that You soften the hearts of those who work iniquity, let them know Your love and draw them close to You.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

Fed Up

Jeremiah 12

Jeremiah’s Question

Righteous are You, O Lord, when I plead with You;
Yet let me talk with You about Your judgments.
Why does the way of the wicked prosper?
Why are those happy who deal so treacherously?
2 You have planted them, yes, they have taken root;
They grow, yes, they bear fruit.
You are near in their mouth
But far from their mind.

3 But You, O Lord, know me;
You have seen me,
And You have tested my heart toward You.
Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter,
And prepare them for the day of slaughter.
4 How long will the land mourn,
And the herbs of every field wither?
The beasts and birds are consumed,
For the wickedness of those who dwell there,
Because they said, “He will not see our final end.”

The Lord Answers Jeremiah

5 “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you,
Then how can you contend with horses?
And if in the land of peace,
In which you trusted, they wearied you,
Then how will you do in the floodplain[a] of the Jordan?
6 For even your brothers, the house of your father,
Even they have dealt treacherously with you;
Yes, they have called a multitude after you.
Do not believe them,
Even though they speak smooth words to you.

7 “I have forsaken My house, I have left My heritage;
I have given the dearly beloved of My soul into the hand of her enemies.
8 My heritage is to Me like a lion in the forest;
It cries out against Me;
Therefore I have hated it.
9 My heritage is to Me like a speckled vulture;
The vultures all around are against her.
Come, assemble all the beasts of the field,
Bring them to devour!

10 “Many rulers[b] have destroyed My vineyard,
They have trodden My portion underfoot;
They have made My pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it desolate;
Desolate, it mourns to Me;
The whole land is made desolate,
Because no one takes it to heart.
12 The plunderers have come
On all the desolate heights in the wilderness,
For the sword of the Lord shall devour
From one end of the land to the other end of the land;
No flesh shall have peace.
13 They have sown wheat but reaped thorns;
They have put themselves to pain but do not profit.
But be ashamed of your harvest
Because of the fierce anger of the Lord.”

14 Thus says the Lord: “Against all My evil neighbors who touch the inheritance which I have caused My people Israel to inherit—behold, I will pluck them out of their land and pluck out the house of Judah from among them. 15 Then it shall be, after I have plucked them out, that I will return and have compassion on them and bring them back, everyone to his heritage and everyone to his land. 16 And it shall be, if they will learn carefully the ways of My people, to swear by My name, ‘As the Lord lives,’ as they taught My people to swear by Baal, then they shall be established in the midst of My people.17 But if they do not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation,” says the Lord.

Observation

God is perfect and detests iniquity. Injustice, even when it seems to be winning, will not prosper.

Application

When we are fatigued by the evil we see, we must remember that God too is incensed by it and is in the midst of it employing devices of justice. 

 

Today’s Prayer

Lord help us not to be overwhelmed. Let us remember that You are the overcomer, our champion who is right there with us in the midst of every circumstance. We thank You for being the greatest example of empathy we could ever have. We ask that You soften the hearts of those who work iniquity, let them know Your love and draw them close to You.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

The Beautiful Game

 

Image

I wanna play basketball for the rest of my life. Many of my life decisions (at least my school decisions) have been through the lens of a basketball fiend.

 

When making the move from public to private school, I had dreams of getting glory on varsity. (Nevermind that I was an incoming 7th grader)

 

In high school I frustrated my college counselor to no end because while he wanted me to look at the bevy of liberal arts colleges in the Northeast, I was looking at schools that were in the AP top 25. (For what it’s worth, we met halfway. Davidson is a top liberal arts college and a bastion of getting buckets. So good, so good.)

 

Basketball got me through my first year of seminary.

 

I collected all the microaggressions throughout the week and left them at the altar.

 

The court was my sanctuary.

 

Even as lupus was beginning to rear its head basketball got me through. I was in the bed battling pneumonia and texting my coach partner for our 7th grade boys’ score. (My wife had to threaten me, lovingly of course, not to go to practice.)

 

My hospitalization in Feb 2012 coincided with Linsanity (also known as one of my favorite times to be a Knicks fan ever). God knows it was a tremendous comfort for me to see my Knicks on tv so often (I was in Charlotte at the time) and a beautiful escape since they were actually winning.

 

The illness brought fatigue and tremendous fluctuations in weight but it could not take basketball from me. My meetings with doctors often included the inevitable question, “So…when can I play ball again?”

 

A little over a year has passed since the worst of everything and I’ve only dabbled in playing ball since. In those moments I was reminded of how much I treasure the game and challenged because of the road I have ahead of me. My touch (I’ve always likened my game to that of a poor man’s Sam Perkins) is not what it used to be and I’m working to get my lungs where I need them to truly enjoy playing.

 

Doin’ It In The Park” and “The Doctor” rekindled my love for pick up ball. I spent my elementary school days learning the game at Soul in the Hole and I count The Cage on West 4th as one of my favorite fortresses of solitude. I’m getting better for a variety of reasons and thank God that basketball is a source of hope. My dreams of winning a championship for my beloved blue and orange will never come true but my days of getting buckets on the blacktop never have to die.

 

Brian Mooney

Educator, Scholar, Author

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