April 8, 2014.
“Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem,
look and take note!
Search her squares to see
if you can find a man,
one who does justice
and seeks truth,
that I may pardon her.
Though they say, “As the Lord lives,”
yet they swear falsely.
O Lord, do not your eyes look for truth?
You have struck them down,
but they felt no anguish;
you have consumed them,
but they refused to take correction.
They have made their faces harder than rock;
they have refused to repent.”
Jeremiah was a young prophet for the children of Israel in a time where they were not wholly following the Lord. Jeremiah has a burden to bear as he speaks to his people because his message is a message that people did not want to hear. The people of his time thought everything was going smoothly. Things were good economically and they were not in fear of losing their land to their enemies. Life seemed good. They worshiped God… and many other gods/idols. This is where they had a problem.
It seems to be a recurring theme throughout the pages of the Old Testament. When times were good, the Israelites did whatever they wanted and abandoned God. When times were bad, they would come running back to God pleading for their lives. He would help them out, times would turn back to good and the cycle started anew. You can see how this would be frustrating to you or me, how much more a holy and righteous creator who longed for his children? By the time we get to Jeremiah and many of the other prophets, the children of Israel were no longer returning to God, even in their hardships. To put it as Jeremiah does above, there was no man seeking truth.
This is an interesting phrase that I want to highlight, as it goes well with what I wrote about yesterday. “Search her squares to see if you can find a man, one who does justice and seeks truth, that I may pardon her.” It seems that God really does care about the righteous in a country where the majority have turned their backs on Him. This gives me hope for our country. I can make no promises as I do not know the will of God, but what I do know is that God has implied in the past that he spares countries for the sake of his righteous. To me, God is longing to find that remnant of people who stood true so that he might indeed save Israel. But they were not there, and destruction from the North was soon to follow.
And this was the will of God. Now, you may think “Wait a minute. If these were God’s children and he loves them, why would he send destruction upon them?” This may be a hard concept to grasp, but just as much as God truly does love his people, he is also a holy judge who can have no dealing with sin. He begs and pleads for his children to come back, he gives them signs and tries chastisement. But nothing works. This is the risk that is inherent in free will. Love can only be know through free will, but with free will, they had the choice to abandon their creator, and they took it.
We still have that choice today. Have you abandoned God? Are you mad at him? Do you just think he doesn’t want you to do anything fun? I plead with you to come back if you need to, as our Lord above does the same. He wants you to be reconciled to him because he loves you more than you can imagine.
“[B]ut God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.Since, therefore,we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.”
Will you come?
Suggested Daily reading: Jeremiah 1-5.
The Lord have mercy on us all.