Devotions by Ray Stedman -The Way Back- A daily devotion for August 6

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Topic:The Way Back
READ THE SCRIPTURE: JEREMIAH 2:5-30

How can you say, I am not defiled; I have not run after the Baals? See how you behaved in the valley; consider what you have done. You are a swift she-camel running here and there, a wild donkey accustomed to the desert, sniffing the wind in her craving — in her heat who can restrain her? Any males that pursue her need not tire themselves; at mating time they will find her.
Jeremiah 2:23-24

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Do you see the picture? If you have ever worked among horses you know what he is talking about. Here is a mare in heat, lusting. A little later on, in Chapter 5, he speaks of lusty stallions who keep neighing after their neighbors’ wives. God uses these vivid figures to awaken people to where they are. There is a wonderful frankness about the Scriptures which sometimes rebukes the Victorian prudishness we have fallen heir to and often exhibit in talking about some of these things. God intended us to learn from the animal kingdom. He gave animals a different kind of sexuality than he gave us, so that we might learn from them, might have a vivid picture of how we look when we start lusting after everything that comes along, and being available for any kick, any thrill, any drive, other than God himself. So God holds up this vivid picture. It must have meant a great deal to the people of Judah. They understood what an animal looks like in heat, how eager it is to be satisfied.

I remember a scene from my high school days in Montana, when I was working on a ranch up there. One day a group of people came out from town to go horseback riding. Among them were some school teachers, and one was my English teacher, who was somewhat of a prude. I remember that she was given a stallion to ride. When we were saddling up, the stallion got tremendously excited about a mare nearby. To this day I can vividly recall the bright crimson of her face as she sat on that horse and tried to restrain it, while everybody else tried to pretend nothing was happening!

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This is the kind of figure God holds up and says, That is what you’re like That is you, lusting after everything that comes by, living for kicks, wanting to be satisfied some way. That covers everything from continuous, non-stop television, or endless golf, to the fleshpots of strip clubs, to heroin, to hate and violence. That is what happens when the heart begins to drift from God into degeneracy.

Father, thank you that you have called me to yourself. I do not understand that, but I am grateful. I pray that when I lust after other things I would come to that place where I would want to return to you; not merely as a sensation for this moment, but I would be faithful in carrying it out in the living of my life.

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