Which was kind of the question God was asking here—who’s place is this anyway??
“This message was given concerning the Ammonites. This is what the LORD says: ‘Are there no descendants of Israel to inherit the land of Gad? Why are you, who worship Molech, living in its towns?’”
The short version is that the Ammonites were the bad guys, and Molech was their god. And not just any idol, but one that inspired forms of “worship” that included burning their babies as human sacrifices. Unfortunately, some moderns might be blind enough to say something insipid like, “It’s just their culture.”
God help us.
And thankfully, He has. But that’s another story. In this particular passage, however, God is lamenting the fact that land He gave to His own people has been overrun by those who are most decidedly not His people, and are using the land and resources meant for building His kingdom for the most horribly antithesis of His purposes.
And it’s ticking Him off.
Rightfully so, and through His man, Jeremiah, (as well as a few choice adversaries), God begins to clean house.
There is a pointed message for us here also. It was part of God’s strategy for His people to not only inherit the land, but to occupy it. To cultivate, grow, dominate, productively use, and protect the resources He so abundantly provided for them for the building of His kingdom.
Our mandate has not changed. At this writing (November 2016), my country has just chosen a new president, in what will probably go down in the history books as an unprecedented (pardon the pun) election. I haven’t looked to see who “won” yet; I’ve had a few more important things to do this morning first, (including having my quiet time and petting the dog). Whomever is soon to be installed in the Oval Office, whatever message my fellow countrymen have sent to Washington, the message of the King remains: occupy and cultivate His kingdom, His love, His message.
And as subjects (and children) of God’s higher authority, we can no longer allow a spiritually “foreign nation” to negotiate terms of co-existence in our own individual lives. This has absolutely nothing to do with political immigration, but everything to do with my heart. If I allow any foreign entity that is “not-God” into my life—offense, resentment, jealousy, fear, (to name but a few)—it’s like the Ammonites have invaded and Molech-like sacrifices are being made with the precious resources meant for God’s use.
This also speaks to our involvement in the process of life. In very practical terms, as God moves in our hearts, so also are we to move within are given spheres of influence, be it within government, education, media arts, etc. When God sovereignly opens the doors, it will behoove us to walk confidently through them.
It may be the very land He’s needing us to occupy.
Jeremiah 49: 1 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.