This past month, we have been reading through Jeremiah. This is one of those books that I never really read very much; Other than the “For I know the plans I have for you…” section, I basically ignored this book.
The readings consist of the prophet Jeremiah prophesying death and destruction to the Israelites because of their idolatry. He buys a linen belt and doesn’t wash it. He warns them repeatedly. His life is threatened. He visits a potter who smashes a pot. He wears a yolk. More gloom and doom, death and destruction. He buys a field. Repeat gloom and doom message. Jeremiah goes to jail. His message is ignored and then it happens. The Lord’s punishment is poured out on His chosen people. When it all finally goes down, it is heart breaking. These people were warned over the course of 50 chapters to repent and return to God, but they chose to keep on living how they wanted.
While I read, this is what I understood…
With every threat of death came a new plea for repentance. He is the God of second chances.
With every threat of destruction came a promise of restoration. He is a God who restores.
When Jeremiah was being attacked, his response was “But the Lord stands beside me like a great warrior…” (20:21) He is a God who fights for his children.
When the people are to be exiled, God eases their fears (29:11) “For I know the plans I have for you, plans for good and not evil…” He is a God with a plan.
He is a God who does not forget his children: “I would no more reject my people than I would change my laws of night and day, of earth and sky.” (33:25)
You may be in the middle of your own version of death and destruction/gloom and doom. Maybe you feel like you’re walking through some punishment of your own… Let me leave you with one last nugget from Jeremiah…
“But the one who redeems them is strong. His name is the Lord Almighty. He will defend them and give them rest again in Israel.” (51:34)
You will be redeemed. You have a defender and he is strong. You will rest again. You will be restored.