The Word of the Lord comes to Jeremiah and in Chapter 2 he says: What fault did your ancestors find in me, that they strayed so far from me? For several more verses God laments that the people have turned away and then in verse 8 God says …
The people forgot all that God had done for them and so had turned away from God. They forgot about Egypt and the Red Sea. They forgot about the pillar of fire and the pillar of smoke that guided them through the wilderness to the Promised Land. They forgot manna, quail and water from rocks. They forgot a land flowing with milk and honey.
As bad as that was, I feel like there was something worse. Israel’s leaders never stepped up to call the people back; to remind them of the things that were fading from their memories. To remind them of just who their God was. “The priests did not ask …”
Part of a leader’s deal is to hold the flag high; to be the bearer of God’s standard. To ask the question “Where is the Lord?” even while pointing to the answer! It’s a role that leaders better take seriously.
It’s why I think Jeremiah 30:21 and Jeremiah 2:8 are related. If you are a leader and you plan on holding God before people you better draw close to the Lord. You need to devote yourself to being near the Lord. There’s danger in forgetting for each of us as individual disciples. But the danger for leaders and the people we lead is supremely higher – whether you lead a church, a small group, your kids, a Sunday school class or whatever.
I’m not always doing this perfectly and neither will you, but I want to develop a lifestyle of singular devotion. If you’re not reaching for it, you’ll never grasp it. And if you’re not reaching for it, you probably shouldn’t be leading.