Remember the cartoons that had an angel on the character’s right shoulder and a devil on the other? Well, today’s readings brought this scenario to mind, however simplistic it may sound.
In all three readings, the people are warned about how their ancestors “stiffened their necks” against God, his prophets, and, of course, against Christ, who warned: “Every kingdom divided against itself becomes a desert, and house falls against house.”
However — even though in the psalm, “Do not harden your hearts,” and “They are people whose hearts go astray…they shall not enter my rest,” is proclaimed — God also told us (through Jeremiah to the nation of Judah) that if we obey/listen to God no matter what is happening — rather than to our own counsel — we shall always be his people.
The messages in these readings may seem to come from the “punishing God,” but I have found that it is much easier to “kneel before the Lord” than have the angel/devil battle rage on. It seems that by having God — good orderly direction — take over, many issues seem to miraculously disappear. The added advantage of not having such a stiffened neck or a hardened heart is well worth it — don’t you think?