JEREMIAH CHAPTER 23:By making others lose, we can’t be winning.
Verses 5-8 give hope of how the Lord will be sympathetic to his people who have survived the calamity and bring them back home (the story of restoration). Many times we don’t care making others fail or fall into traps. We think that it is ok since we are not losing. The message above is not different from what is happening in our churches today. Many churches are preaching the wrong message and the fake hope of getting salvation via some things (you have heard some churches with special blessed waters, places or statues and other wearing) but not exactly Jesus. Yet the way is one (John 14:6). Some are practicing some kind of businesses in their masses and they scatter the flock, the people from the right path to the wrong directions and oh how they think they are safe! But our God is giving us hope that while we scattered like flock without sheep (Matthew 9:36), Jesus came to be the right shepherd (John 10:11) and wants to unite us in truth in true church state (John 10:16).
In his great exposition of Jeremiah chapter 23, John Gill explains my first paragraph using verse 5,
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord,.... Or, "are coming" (d); and will soon be here, a few days, months, and years more; so it was usual with the prophets to represent the coming of Christ as near at hand, to comfort the saints, and keep up their faith and expectation of him, and especially the latter prophets; see Hag 2:6, Mal 3:1; as also to usher in their prophecies of this sort with a behold, as a note of admiration, attention, and asseveration; see Isa 7:14;
that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch; the Messiah; so it is explained by the Targum, which calls him the Messiah of the righteous; and by Kimchi and Ben Melech; and by the ancient Jews (e) also; who is frequently by the prophets spoken of as a branch, Isa 4:2, Zac 3:8; which respects his incarnation, his springing up and appearance in the earth, and the meanness and weakness of it; and here, his descent from the family of David, when that was in a low and mean condition, to be his successor in his throne and kingdom, not in a temporal, but in a spiritual sense; and is a branch and plant not of man's raising, but of the Lord's, his human nature being formed without the help of man; and is that tabernacle which God pitched, and not man; and is therefore elsewhere called the Branch of the Lord, and said to be brought forth by him, Isa 4:2; the epithet of "righteous" is given him, because righteous in himself, and the author of righteousness to others; a branch that brings forth and bears the fruits of righteousness, from whence all those that are ingrafted in him come to have righteousness;
and a King shall reign and prosper; the King Messiah, the same with David's righteous Branch, his son and offspring; who was appointed by God the Father "King" over Zion, the church, from all eternity; was always promised and spoken of as a King, and came as such, though his kingdom was not with observation, it being not of this world; and when he ascended to heaven, he was declared Lord and Christ; and now "reigns" on the same throne with his Father, and will till all enemies are put under his footstool: and as he prospered in his priestly office, by obtaining the redemption and salvation of his people, which is the "pleasure of the Lord" that was to "prosper in his hand", Isa 53:10; so likewise in his kingly and prophetic offices, by going forth in his Gospel conquering and to conquer; riding forth therein prosperously, and subduing his enemies, and causing his ministers to triumph in him: or, "shall deal prudently" (f), as the word is rendered in Isa 52:13
The chapter goes on being clearer than even the first chapters. The pastors (as used by the King James version) had only preached lies making people worship other gods, do adultery, do oppression to the vulnerable and they were thinking that all was well yet calamity was coming and God said that His anger will accomplish what it came for (V.20)
OUR TODAY’S LESSON:
We are not winning by making others lose. Many people take this for granted and take advantage of people’s ignorance, weakness, need or any other point of weakness and lure them into a number of losses while we gain on the other hand or we are not gaining anything at all but we just want to see them fail (From action-reward philosophy, there must be a motivation for us failing others on anything). In the recent news, a great and known Ugandan singer Desire Luzinda was conned and exploited by another fellow, Franklin, who later exposed her nude photos to the world via social media. Whatever facts and issues that lie between these two people, the fact is one is taking advantage of the other’s weak point. And God’s message is that you are a sinner (actually, worst sinner) just as the one you caused to sin (if an eye makes you sin, remove it because it is a sinner too-Jesus’ teaching). More plainly, things that cause people to sin will happen, but how terrible will it be for the one that causes or brings them! (Luke17:1-2).
Aaah we have got the message, haven’t we? Whenever we act as stumbling block to anything developmental in God’s plan, we are ourselves not safe. And the bible makes it clear that we are at the worst end in that case. Yeah, we may be fooled by the physical gains we get but they aren’t real whether in our life now or in the life to come. I have many physical examples of people who built their greatness by fooling others and they ended up losing everything, including their lives and families. The worst thing we should guard against is causing others to sin or fail. What was your part in Desire Luzinda’s swagger?
GOD BLESS YOU