Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jeremiah 13:23

"Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil."
Jeremiah 13:23

You know this one kind of stung me today.  Just opened this up during Sunday School, looking through for something else... and I was like, WOW... so, might as well give up.  If I have a bad habit, looks like I am *stuck.* ... and hey, that is a horrible message for Scripture of the Day!  So why am I using it?  Because whenever we run into scriptures like this, there is always a reason. ALWAYS. ... It is easy to pull verses out of context, and it is easy to feel a little overwhelmed or chastened by some of this... and that is okay, sometimes we need those lessons.  But, the truth is, we know God better than that.  We need to know him a lot more, but we *know* that God doesn't go around telling us we can't change, and that we might as well give up.  So, what else is here? In this case, two verses later, and part of this same thought process, we get "this is thy lot . . . because thou hast forgotten me, and trusted in falsehood." ... And you know what?  If someone can part the sea, move a mountain, and walk on water... you BET that they could change their skin or spots.  If God was working with them, and it needed to happen.  YES.  Definitely.
And that is what we need to remember here.  It is obviously very hard to break out of evil habits... and God warns us of that here so that we will know that, and work on avoiding them.  But, truly, it isn't a message telling us to give up hope.  God never sends us messages of despair.  If we are willing to change, and have the determination to work at it, then God will help us so that we can succeed.  We're only trapped if we forget God and trust in something else.  If we have him working with us, we can change ourselves... hearts, minds, souls... inside and out... because God will help us do it, no matter how impossible it seems.  People do overcome incredible obstacles... horrible, devastating addictions... deep, black sin.  And so can we, with God's help.

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