by Ruth Hallstead
The song Highway to Hell makes it sound like life is a blast when you don’t answer to anybody and do what you want. At some level, it seems like “living easy, living free” is a nice way to live. No responsibilities, no worries, nothing… and for a little while, that might be fun. It could even be quite the party. However, living only for yourself gets real old, real fast. No accountability also means that no one cares about you. No one is looking out for you, and no one minds what happens to you. Now that’s a scary thought. There is hope though— we are surrounded by accountability. Even when we try to deny it, God is there. He cares what you do, He is invested in where your path leads, and He will never let go of you. Jeremiah was a prophet amongst nations that behaved as if they were free to act as they pleased. It was a lawless time full of war, cruelty, neglect, and harassment. It seemed like God had forsaken the Israelites as he allowed these nations to rule over them. Of course, they couldn’t have been more wrong and God lets them know that. Jeremiah 46:28 says “As for you, have no fear, my servant Jacob, says the Lord. For I am with you. I will make an end of all the nations among which I have banished you, but I will not make an end of you! I will chastise you in just measure. . .” God remembers what you did, you don’t get a free pass on sin. But He is with you, and he is against the lawlessness that sometimes surrounds you. They don’t get a free pass either. Wait, backup, read that second sentence again. “I am with you”. He is with us always; chastising us while protecting us, loving us, yet reprimanding us. We get the good and the “bad” that come with living under any authority. But the good is so very good that we wouldn’t want to trade it for anything else.