Bread – Hunters

March 11, 2013


Readings for Monday, March 11, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: Jer. 16:10-21; Rom. 7:1-12; John 6:1-15; Psalm 89

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From our reading in Jeremiah today: “Behold, I [God] am sending for many fishers, declares the Lord, and they shall catch them [people of Israel]. And afterward I will send for many hunters, and they shall hunt them from every mountain and hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks.” Jer. 16:16

It strikes me that there are two types of hunters. There are those hunters who lay in wait for their prey to wander by in the hope that prey will in fact wander close enough for the hunter to reach out with his weapon to touch the prey. The modern deer hunter comes to mind, who rests in his or her tree stand or ground blind, in eager expectation (sometime, but not all the time, rewarded) of a prey-sighting or a prey-touching. Maybe it will happen and maybe it won’t, but the “lie in wait” hunter have a good time anyway.

The second kind of hunter is one who goes out after the prey. He or she will study where the prey hangs out and go there, stealthily walking or crawling through whatever is in their way in order to get close to the prey. This type of hunting requires activity of a purposeful kind. If the hunter does not properly know where they prey is or makes too much noise on the way or otherwise disturbs the prey, the hunter may see his or her target but can rarely complete the hunt with the trophy. The pig hunter or bird hunter come to mind as examples of the active hunter. Maybe it will happen and maybe it won’t, but this kind of hunter knows that he or she tried.

What kind of hunter is called for by God in Jeremiah? It strikes me that it is the active hunter, the one who studies where his or her prey lives, eats, runs, plays, and generally lives their lives, and then goes to those places to find the prey. God instructs his hunters in those days to “hunt them [Israel] from every mountain and hill, and out of the clefts of the rocks.” The people who God has chosen are in hiding, and the hunters are ordered to go flush them out and bring them in.

As Christians, what are our weapons? Are the guns of hunters or the truth of the gospel, the sword of the Spirit, the shield of faith? Are we to hunt with bullets or with love?

We all know the answers to these questions. We are not to hunt for God’s chosen with guns and bullets, but with His power, His Spirit, and His love. We have powerful weapons indeed.

However, how do we use them? Are we the kind of hunter who sits around, waiting for something to happen, hoping that some lost soul will wander by so that we can reach out and touch them? Or are we the kind of hunter who knows where the unsaved live, where the need for love is mighty, where hearts are broken and there is no hope, where the people lay in the dark, in hiding? If we know where these people are, are we the kind of hunter who goes after them?

God did not say to Jeremiah that He was going to designate hunters to wait for the children of Israel to walk by so they could be snuck up behind and nabbed for the kingdom. God said to Jeremiah that He was going to raise up hunters to go after His people where they were hiding, to flush them out into the light, to hunt them down for Him.

We know which kind of hunter God wants. What kind are you?

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© 2013 GBF

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