Today you should read: Jeremiah 50:17-46
The Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “the Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.”
~ Exodus 34:6-7
Moses was privileged to stand on Mt. Sinai and be in the presence of God and hear God proclaim to him the nature of His character. Our passage today is a great picture of God’s character and how he deals with the events that were happening in Jeremiah’s day.
But who will by no means clear the guilty….
The nations of Babylon and Assyria were destroying the nation of Israel. Verse 17 states, “Israel is a hunted sheep driven away by lions.” I don’t know about you but when I picture sheep being chased by lions I don’t have a whole lot of hope for the sheep. I just hear a British voice over on the Discovery Channel describing how the lion tears apart the sheep and drags it back for her/his cubs. Babylon and Assyria were destroying the people of Israel and taking many of them back to their country to serve as slaves. This is real persecution that many of us have never experienced.
Thankfully we serve a God who is perfectly just and in this passage we see how God watches over his people.
Therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing punishment on the king of Babylon and his land, as I punished the king of Assyria. (v. 18)
Although God allowed for these events to happen to Israel because of their disobedience to God, He by no means will allow the guilty to go unpunished (v.21-46). Those who are God’s children can always trust that God always has a plan and is in control of all things. Because of God using the Babylonians and Assyrians as a means to discipline Israel, the Israelites probably felt like God had abandoned them. However, this passage shows us that although God disciplines his children He never turns his back on them.
The Lord, the Lord, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin….
Do you remember what started all of the punishment of Israel in the first place? Remember how they worshipped other Gods and idols? That one just so happened to be the first commandment. As a matter of fact there was not one law that they did not break. Israel deserved to be completely wiped off of the face of the earth. Instead, God promises to restore Israel to the Promised Land and to completely pardon their sin (v. 19-20). These two verses show the mercy of God and how much he loves his children. We have been privileged to live during a time when we get to look back and see the fulfillment of this promise to Israel.
“Even when we are dead in our trespasses, – made us alive with Christ —it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” ~Ephesians 2:5-6
God sent his one and only son in order to take on the wrath and punishment of sin that we deserve. This is how he restored his people Israel and pardoned their sin making good on his promise and it is how he continues to draw sinners to himself today. God desires to make a people for himself that worship him and love him and He does this through His son Jesus. If you and I place our faith in Jesus and make him Lord we will be saved and cleansed of all our sin.
The question that I have for you today is which part of God’s character are you currently experiencing?
- Are you experiencing his love and mercy because of your relationship with Christ?
- Or are you taking a chance with your sin between you and God without Jesus?
Posted by: Chad Wiles