August 3 – Today’s Readings – Jeremiah 19-21 and Psalms 33
Day after day – week after week – month after month – year after year – this man, Jeremiah, repeated his message using slightly different phrasing and somewhat different illustrations. THE MESSAGE, HOWEVER, REMAINED THE SAME:
· “This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Listen! I am going to bring a disaster on this place that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle.” (Jeremiah 19:3)
· “I will devastate this city and make it an object of scorn; all who pass by will be appalled and will scoff because of all its wounds.” (Jeremiah 19:8)
· – “and say to them, This is what the LORD Almighty says: I will smash this nation and this city just as this potter’s jar is smashed and cannot be repaired.” (Jeremiah 19:11)
Here then was a simple monotonous constant message – God is against you because of your sin and rebellion. He is going to bring destruction on you and take you into exile. REPENT!
The response of the people was just as predictable – “When the priest Pashhur son of Immer, the chief officer in the temple of the LORD, heard Jeremiah prophesying these things, he had Jeremiah the prophet beaten and put in the stocks at the Upper Gate of Benjamin at the LORD’s temple.” (Jeremiah 20:1-2)) Month after month and year after year, the people and leaders of the people ignored this one-track-mind negative orator. Yet destruction WAS coming. It was rather like the days of Noah. It was somewhat like the days of Lot. It was much like the years when God was judging the inhabitants of the land of Canaan and was leading Joshua to take that land away from the people who had desecrated it. This time however, the tables were turned. It was the people of God – those who had built their nation on the principles of God that were in rebellion and about to be judged.
I know that the judgments of God for this earth have only just begun and that He is still in the business of watching over the earth and wanting to bless the nations that do right, live right and judge righteously. God LOVES “rightness” in the moral sense. He is of course also interested in His Church and his individual sons and daughters doing what is right. This however is no hardship for us. We know His burden – it is easy. We know His cross – it is light. God so fills us with grace that when we are living “RIGHT”, we are speaking our native language and are doing what our born-again nature leads us into. Praise God for His unspeakable grace.
1. Give another Scriptural example of God giving people plenty of warning before taking action to judge their sin.
2. Give an example of the grace of God in action – helping someone to be “holy” in the midst of a wicked situation.