mercy always wins

SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 16:14-21

OBSERVATION/APPLICATION:

  1. Right in the middle of dire warnings of judgment, there lies this promise, that God will one day rescue and restore His people [14-15]. His plan has always been to establish a people for Himself and the world, a people who would bless the nations (not follow them), and point them back to God. God does not abandon His plan, and we see how in Jesus He ultimately fulfills this plan.
  2. The only thing greater than Israel’s sin is God’s ultimate gracious purpose. Their sin was great, we can hardly appreciate how base, how perverse, how cruel idol worship was. The land was defiled, polluted, by they immoral worship. God must punish such sins, but even so, the hint of mercy and restoration is heard, so that the faithful few will not despair.
  3. God sees everything, God knows everything [17]. Not just our outward performances – we’re all such good people, at least that’s what we hear at funerals – but God knows the inclination of the heart, the secrets, the good and the bad. He knows whether we are inclined toward Him or away from Him, and what our ultimate desire is. In the end, we get what we want… either life without God, which is really death, or life with God, which is really LIFE.
  4. Jeremiah recalls God’s purpose, to make known to all the nations that He is God, and affirms that the day is coming when all people will recognize it [19-20]. Unfortunately, though it was supposed to be His missionary people who would reveal this to the nations, instead they started following false gods and religions. Therefore God Himself will teach people [21]. Through life circumstances, through general revealtion, through the Spirit speaking in the heart, God will gather people to Himself (think of the wise men, being called by the stars).
  5. My job, and of all Jesus-followers, is to point people to God. By the way we live, the way we love, and the way we speak, we are to let the whole world know that God is real, that Jesus is the way, the truth, the life. This passage shows what happens when the world shapes the ‘church’, rather than the other way around.
  6. This passage assures me that God’s purpose will be accomplished, whether or not I (or we) fulfill our task. God will establish His people in the world, and all nations will one day acknowledge that God is real, and what He says is right (willingly or reluctantly, every knee will bow and tongue confess). The challenge for me is, am I working for or against His purpose (there is no neutral). Am I fulfilling my missionary calling? The Lord prefers to work through me, with me, but if I let Him down, He will still get the job done.

PRAYER:
Lord, forgive me for thinking that I can be neutral in Your mission. Help me to see that if I am not for You, I am against You. Help me to rise up and take my stand with You, in revealing to the world that You are the way, the truth and the life.

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