IF YOU’VE EVER been a parent, or you know parents, you realize we must sometimes let our child experience the natural consequence of his own actions. That’s real life, and it’s a healthy practice because otherwise we’re only enabling poor choices and behavior that will lead to future adult troubles. We get this healthy parenting method from our Father in Heaven. His way of discipline becomes an expression of mercy when we consider that continued willful disobedience, arrogance, & selfishness lead a person to a disastrous future.
WE DO THE BEST WE CAN. God, on the other hand, “disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness” and “to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness [a lifestyle and attitude that seeks conformity to God’s will and purpose].” Hebrews 12:10-11
NATURAL CONSEQUENCES (that led to an unnatural drought)
THE SERVANTS went to the wells for water and returned with empty buckets. Ashamed and dismayed, they covered their heads.
THE FARMERS plowed and planted yet zero rain came. Ashamed and confounded at the lack of life (water), they crawled into their beds and covered their heads.
THE WILDLIFE gave birth in the field; but because the land was parched and lifeless, they abandoned their newborns to go find grass.
THOSE 3 glimpses into history illustrate one serious drought! (Jeremiah 14)
WHY DIDN’T GOD prove His faithfulness despite the faithless-ness of His people? <Jeremiah asked this very question.(verses 7-9)
AND GOD ANSWERED: “For I will pour out their own wickedness on them [for the people could not have been deceived without their own consent].” (verse 16b) We do wrong things because we believe a lie.
WE CONSENT to being deceived. Sounds to me as though we have a tendency toward self-destruction.
↑↑ Let it sink in that WE HAVE TO CONSENT ↑↑
EXCUSE THE CLICHÉ, BUT… no one has to teach a child to lie or steal. “Foolishness is bound up in the heart of a child…” Proverbs 22:15
A prayerful response after reading Jeremiah 14: “Lord, I ‘perceive’ how the sins and unfaithfulness of Your people angered You. We are self-destructive without Your active Presence in our lives…”
FROM THE OLD (Testament) TO THE NEW (Testament)
…and a new consent form
“…Lord, I also have a deeper sense of how You fixed our problem (fallenness) for good: a Savior.”
Jesus Christ, fully God, perfect in innocence, carried upon His own clean conscience
-all of my due PENALTIES
-all my GUILT
-all my SHAME
-all my sins
He thrust me out of the path of eternal destruction, bound Himself to a cross out of love, suffered inhumane & unfathomable torture, and died so I could live.
Multiply that death by a few billion to cover humanity in its entirety and imagine the unbearable pain and shame placed on one Man.
↑↑Let that sink in↑↑
THE DEEPER WE SEEK HIM and live in His presence—daily, minute-by-minute—our self-destructive tendencies decrease because the power sin had over us was broken when Jesus rose again; He “destroyed the plague of destruction inflicted on the world by the diabolical one.” 1 John 3:8 (voice)
And throughout our pursuit of His Kingdom and His righteousness our supernatural ability through Christ to live victoriously and productively increases, often exponentially.
‘Cuz that’s how Papa God rolls!
Leave your thoughts (or your joyful shout) in the comment section.