Reflections: Monday of the Tenth Week after Trinity

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 8:4-12
Daily Lectionary: 1 Samuel 25:1-22; 1 Corinthians 3:1-23
Why then has this people turned away in perpetual backsliding? (Jeremiah 8:5)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Ever hear of backsliding? It’s when someone tries to get right, but keeps messing up and failing again. Maybe you’ve heard the expression, “one step forward, two steps back”? That’s backsliding.
Israel turned away in “perpetual backsliding,” so the Lord tells the prophet to address this problem. What were Israel’s failures this time? Jeremiah gives many examples in today’s reading. The men who thought they were wise rejected the Word of the Lord. (v.9) leading the Lord to decry them: “From the least to the greatest everyone is greedy for unjust gain; from prophet to priest, everyone deals falsely.” The people of Israel were ignorant and corrupt and did not listen to God’s Word. And so, they were backsliders.
But here’s the thing: You are, too. Every believer has experienced backsliding. Our faith walk is never in a straight line. We all make missteps and sometimes slide back. When this happens, we need to repent, to turn and correct course. We need to hear God’s Word again and, like wandering sheep who hear their shepherd, be led back to God through His Word. Listening to God helps us in our walk. He gives us strength to resist temptation. Still, we cannot conquer all sin in this life and so, backsliding and the sorrow and shame over sin that inevitably follows is the frustrating experience of all Christians. But that is far from our only experience. Christians also know love, joy, peace, hope, contentment, wisdom, and more, because in Christ we know our sins are taken away. He has removed our guilt and shame. One day, we will be fully restored and sin will be no more.
Only Jesus could walk a perfectly straight line. He is the only man who never needed to repent. And Jesus has already come and walked that perfectly straight line, pressing forward, never back, all the way to the Cross. He came to live a perfect life for us and to die an innocent death for us. His life and death, and victory over death, give life and salvation to all who believe in Him. So keep listening and following. When you backslide, repent and return to God’s Word and rejoice again in the grace of our Lord. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
Herald, sound the note of pardon Those repenting are forgiv’n; God receives His wayward children, And to them new life is giv’n. Sound the trumpet! Tell the message: Christ, the Savior-king, is come! (“Herald, Sound the Note of Judgment” LSB 511, st.3)

Audio Reflections Speaker: Pastor Duane Bamsch