Tuesday, 12 October 2021
“…after I have uprooted them, I will again have compassion on them; and I will bring them back, each one to his inheritance and each one to his land.” -Jeremiah 12:15
Jeremiah Chapter 12 opens with Jeremiah’s humble yet perplexed question to the Lord, in the light of the hardships he was facing, “Why has the way of the wicked prospered?” (Vs 1) - a question resounded throughout the ages by numerous prophets and men of God, when they see the wicked flourish. There may have been a time in your own life, when you have asked the very same question. Yet, God’s reply to Jeremiah in V.5 is a classic rebuke. Simply put, God asks him, “If you cannot handle these challenges, how will you face the greater hardships yet to come?”
During Jeremiah’s times, the people of Israel and Judah, had forgotten God and lived a life deep rooted in wickedness, idolatry, adultery and oppression of the poor. Is it any different in the present day where men have turned away and become disobedient to God? Our Heavenly Father is ever loving and He is pained by the rebellion of man. In describing the judgment that is to come upon Judah and its neighbors, two divine attributes of God are revealed in Jeremiah 12:7-17 that are relevant in the present world:
The Righteous Judge:
Our God is a holy and righteous judge and He cannot leave sin unpunished. To the sinful generation of Jeremiah’s time, God reveals the impending judgment and punishment that was to come upon them (Vs. 7-14). With the sin in the Garden of Eden, the whole world fell into sin (Romans 3:23) and the wages of sin is death and eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23). But God made a way for us to be reinstated to a rightful relation with Him—its by putting one’s faith in His Son Jesus Christ who took on the sin and punishment unto death on our behalf. God’s desire for each one of us is to be holy, just as He is holy (1 Peter 1:15-16, Ephesians 4:24). However, God in his holiness cannot overlook sin and He will judge those who reject Him and disobey the gospel – they will suffer the penalty of eternal destruction and separation from God. (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9). This warning is given that people may turn away from their sinful ways, repent and seek God.
The Compassionate Father:
In Vs 15 God says: “… after I have uprooted them, I will again have compassion on them…” This reveals the Father’s compassion and loving nature. Further, Vs 15 is a Messianic promise of salvation and restoration for everyone who by faith receives Jesus Christ – both the Jews and Gentiles. Our Heavenly Father is gracious and merciful and in His unfathomable love for us, while we were still sinners, He gave Jesus Christ to be the propitiation for our sins. The promise here is conditional. If we reject the ways of the world and truly turn to seek this living God and obey His commands, He will establish us and we will be given the privilege of becoming children of God and part of God’s kingdom.
Let us not be like the people of Jeremiah’s time, continuing in rebellion, but rather repent and return to our first love and grow in a deep intimate relationship with our Lord.
Promise: If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)