I OPENED to Jeremiah 12 this morning and was blasted with a question I often ask.
“Why are the wicked so prosperous?
Why are evil people so happy??” v.1
Considering events like the recent theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, I feel the frustration in the prophet’s words. Even Jeremiah’s family was plotting against him. Israel’s leaders were pleasing people with soothing words but their hearts were far, far from what was right. v.6
NATURALLY, Jeremiah wanted judgment to come upon them and upon the attacking nations. I can relate! And I’m inspired by how he and our omniscient God were in a real conversation, like a conversation you and I might have —
Speaking freely, sharing emotions, even arguing — with respect.
GOD RESPONDS to Jeremiah’s impatience by first accurately identifying his anxiety. He understands the prophet intimately (vv.5-6 ) Then, in a nutshell, God follows up with, “Believe Me, I am taking vengeance against the people I love.” (vv.7-9)
TREATING them as if He hated them (Amp. version).
Strong words from a loving God
THEN AGAIN, God is holy—set apart, distinct, unique, the opposite of profane. He operates and exists on a whole different realm from us. i.e. if all of our combined love could fit into a shot glass, all the seas in all the universe could not contain God’s great love.
His holiness is inimitable
IF THIS inimitability and completeness are true of His love, they are true of all of his character traits. Take mercy.
God’s mercy transcends our understanding. To say His ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts is the understatement of all time.
I am catching on at a deeper level
Be patient while God disciplines his creation
while he gives ALL people time
Time to re-think their situation
IN THIS DIVINE conversation, Jeremiah describes the beautiful fierceness of God’s merciful heart:
“I will uproot from their land all the evil nations reaching out for the possession I gave my people Israel. And I will uproot Judah from among them. But afterward I will return and have compassion on all of them. I will bring them home to their own lands again, each nation to its own possession. And if these nations truly learn the ways of my people, and if they learn to swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’ (just as they taught my people to swear by the name of Baal), then they will be given a place among my people….” vv.15-16
WOW! God promises to bring the foreigners home and, if they turn their devotion to him, he’ll graft them in as family. God fiercely loves all people, including those who hate him with a passion.
Endure, O Embattled Spirit!
Know beyond doubt that God is good.
Be patient as God is patient,
not wanting anyone to perish
but to reconsider their present path
and rethink their ultimate destiny.
Truly! Did God not patiently wait for me?
Put on the mind of Christ and the full armor.
For he empowers all who love Him.
Praise! O Embattled Spirit
Praise cements our confidence with our endurance.
We’re fighting from victory to advance the Kingdom.
Bring the lost, confused, sick, blind, lame,
and the brokenhearted into the light.
The church looks too much like the world;
The resemblance should disturb me.
What am I doing with the power He’s given?
The divine power to break down strongholds.
To overcome sickness and disease.
To overcome divorce, divisiveness, and hatred
To expose deception!
Am I living it out? In love?
What am I doing with my freedom?
Saying I love You with my lips does little.
Showing I love You proves the Truth lives in me.
Reflect, Embattled Spirit
Why are things not changing today?
I must ask myself,
Am I sitting back and
waiting for victory to come?
Or am I pressing forward and
turning my requests into war cries,
knowing that when I delight in the Truth
he grants the desires of my heart.
“Your faith shall move mountains.”
“Whatever you loose on earth
shall be loosed in heaven.” ♥♥
The prayers of the righteous avail! ♦♦