God never gives up. It’s harder to see in the English Bible, but Jeremiah was a gifted Hebrew poet.
He used a series of vivid poetic images in chapter 4 to warn Israel of the looming danger the nation
faced. The Babylonian lion was out of his lair; his chariots were coming like a whirlwind. But those
grim images were not a simple forecast; they were the backdrop for an appeal. The prophet/poet
ended with “Wash the evil from your heart and be saved.”
- “Wash the evil from your heart” might sound as if we just need to think differently. The UBS Translator’s Handbook on Jeremiah notes that the Hebrew phrase is about how our inner thoughts shape our way of life: “Translators can say ‘clean all the evil from your lives’ or ‘make your hearts [or, lives] clean; remove all the evil.’” How are you, day by day, giving God access to your thoughts, so that through them God can be at work to reshape your way of life?