Day 218

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Jeremiah 25:15-38, 36:1-32 and 45:1-46:28

Marc Lang, Marriage Ministry and Celebrate Recovery

It took a couple readings through these chapters as this has always been a hard section for me to read. I’ve read these as a picture of an angry and vengeful God and it has previously reinforced some of the negative views I had where God was a punitive force in my life.

After the fourth try, I started to see a larger picture of God. Yes, God was angry, but we can’t expect a holy God to be anything less than angry with sin. Beyond the anger, God’s love comes through in His consistent warnings to the people to repent and turn from their sin. He goes out of His way to try to get them to change, even putting His prophets in harm’s way to do so. Seeing this helped me reconcile the anger of God in the Old Testament with the loving God of the New Testament. God is angry with the sin in the world. At the same time, He is consistently calling us back to a relationship with Him through repentance. The love is there even in the midst of His anger.

At the end of these readings, Jeremiah 46:28 reads  “Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant, for I am with you,” declares the Lord.” So here is the faithful and comforting God I am more comfortable with. At the same time, I confess my need for the God who will be angry with the sin in my life and direct me to repent. While I enjoy the comfort of His presence, I know I will grow more as I listen to the changes He wants to make in my life. My prayer today is that the Holy Spirit’s voice is loud enough in our lives to change us into the people Jesus is calling us to be.

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6 responses »

  1. Thanks Marc,

    I find myself being so thankful for Jesus, He took the cup and the punishment that came with it in our place. Jesus, what can I do but praise You, our glorious Savior and King

    Matthew 26:39-42 (NLT)
    He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
    Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!”
    Then Jesus left them a second time and prayed, “My Father! If this cup cannot be taken away unless I drink it, your will be done.”

  2. This is a hard thing, isn’t it! Oddly enough, I don’t see God’s wrath here and think how harsh He’s being. After all, it’s been 450 years, with some kings leading the people to follow God’s ways and some doing the opposite. I’m amazed that He gave the people so many centuries of falling away before He finally said enough. I see the Patient Father disciplining His children. And like me, if the children won’t respond to light suffering, He has to squeeze harder until they finally turn around.

    Fast forward a generation (we’ll get to it in a few weeks), and we see the people having a revival. They’ve turned back to God’s ways, and they’ve made a difference in the foreign lands. And God brings them home.

    • True. He has more than just cause for His wrath (not that He needs it). But His wrath is not harshness. For a Holy God to not annihilate us in the face of blatant apostasy is more than enough reason to fall on our face in worship. But, in His mercy and because He is a loving God and because Jesus provided a way for us to be forgiven of ALL our sins, we are not destroyed. We experience the consequences of our poor choices but are forgiven and given a second and third and endless chances to get it right. That’s mercy and amazing grace!

      • Isn’t it interesting, in this overview of God’s Redemption Plan, that we see ever more clearly, “the wages of sin is death.” God uses the bad guys to punish the bad guys (even His chosen) and then He punishes the bad guys, all with death. Clearly it is not “people” that God puts to death, it is “sin”. How do you see it?

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