Accounts of happenings of the past, called history, documented interactions between God and those of our kind, humans, shows some appalling arrogance on our part. I am referring to Scripture as accounted in Jeremiah, chapters 43 and 44.
As it is reported, some of the Israelites had taken to the practice of offering drink offerings to the “queen of heaven.” They knew fully well that the act was the worship of a god that was no god; however, they found so they thought, wealth and blessings in the process.
A gracious and merciful God did what He always does, He sent prophets to warn them, in this case specifically Jeremiah. As they were usually prone to do, they were arrogant at the warning and informed Jeremiah that they would do “what their own mouth said.” They further informed him that they had been blessed in this practice, and that all their kings and their princes and their men and women had engaged in this practice, and they were not going to cease. In the vernacular of today, “Every body is doing it!” “It is acceptable for today.”
“Things have changed, you know, there are not like they used to be.”
Follow the text and you will see that this did not work out very well for them.
Hear the Word of the Lord: “nothing has changed with Me.” “I am the same God today as I was yesterday and will be tomorrow.”
I like to ask this question of those who say the things the Israelites were telling Jeremiah, I ask them, “What’s new?” If the sun was in the sky this morning as you walked out of your house, have you any idea how old that is? Yet, it is current in our today. Are babies still born in the same way, from a mother and a father? Do trees and other vegetation still reach for the sunlight? Do you still need lungs to breathe air and a heart to pump your blood through the vascular system that is in your body? Have you any idea how old all this is and yet, it is the same today as it has always been? Not much has changed that is vital to life. Certainly, we have new discoveries and inventions, all made from what was already in existence.
So the Israelites persisted in their adamant decision to continue what they were doing, also making accusations against the Lord God, that He was not taking care of them, so God through Jeremiah explained to them what was really happening.
Verses 3 – 11 of chapter 44: this is God speaking in first person, “ Because of their wickedness, which they have committed to provoke Me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, and to serve other gods, whom they knew not, neither they, you, nor your fathers. However, I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, “Oh, do not do this abominable thing that I hate,” but they listened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness to burn incense to other gods. That is why My fury is poured out, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate unto this day.
(Take heed of history, the Lord would say, “the things that I did before, I will do also again, if you of this current day will not hear Me, and if you insist on provoking Me to anger by your evil deeds; am I a respecter of persons?”)
Consider this, says the God of hosts, the God of Israel, (the God of the Christian Church) “Why do you commit this great evil against your souls, to cut off man, woman, and nursing baby, out of Judah, (or wherever you are living now) to leave you none to remain?” In that you provoke Me to wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt, where you have gone to live, that you might cut yourselves off, and that you might be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth?”
How do we do this type of act today? We cheat, rob, abuse others, work ourselves to exhaustion for the dime, and do not tithe to God His rightful portion. We do not take care of the orphans and widows and we do not tell the truth and see to the just treatment of the helpless. Any yes, some of us practice witchcraft and bestiality, adulteries, and all kinds of perverse behaviors such as sex with children, refusal to feed the off-spring of your own body and to protect them.
The list is too long to enumerate.
Take heed to these historical facts. God again speaking: “Have you forgotten the wickedness of your fathers and the wickedness of the kings of Judah, and the wickedness of their wives, and the wickedness of your own wives, which they have committed in the land of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem? They are not humbled even unto this day, neither have they feared, nor walked in My law, nor in My statutes, that I have set before you and your fathers. THEREFORE THIS SAYS THE LORD GOD, WHO IS YOUR GOD, “I WILL SET MY FACE AGAINST YOU FOR EVIL, TO CUT YOU OFF FROM JUDAH,” ( or from YOUR LAND)
God continues to describe what He will do against them for the arrogance of their decision to disregard the laws and statutes that He has given to them.
What do you suppose they expected? Did they, or do we, think that God is helpless? Must He simply set on His Throne and whimper because we will not do right? God is JUST and RIGHTEOUS, He is KIND and MERCIFUL, and He warns them and us, “MY PATIENCE WILL NOT LAST FOREVER.”
As you might suppose, Jeremiah’s message was not a popular one. The message of the Scriptures on this subject are also not popular for today, but the wrath of God that spills forward is still the same as before, and He warns and pleads for us to repent and change our ways, and to walk in the paths of righteous living. IF we will repent, says the Scriptures, then God will change His mind and repent Himself of the evil He had intended. Sometimes Israel did repent and God stayed the terrible destruction that would have otherwise come to them from HIM. It is also true for us today as well.
In the Church of today, one of the most refused messages of the Scriptures is that God is ever a God of fury. We have heard all about the love of God, and it seems that Christians want to divorce God from any characteristic except the, “I wouldn’t harm a flea” kind of love. Hear it! That is NOT Who God says He is. God is a God of love, true; and if you think about it, He has made us in His image and we have more than one emotion. To attribute to God more than one emotion is not to humanize God, but rather to admit that God has made us like a little chunk of Himself. Scriptures tells us of God’s various emotions. His wrath does not spill forward quickly, as ours does, nor is His love conditional, as ours often is. God ALWAYS acts upon JUSTICE after longsuffering patience and pleading and warning. The truth is that WE have a part to play in what happens to us!
Two Wagons of Will
one called “I Will”
one called “I Will NOT.”
It’s up to me to decide
which Wagon of Will
I will ride.
HOW TO REPENT:
A: acknowledge that you have sinned and are lacking in the ability of reaching God’s requirements of perfection.
B: believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, (that means to recognize that He is LORD, that One we call Jesus, and that He is God’s Anointed and Chosen sacrifice for us and that His spilled blood is for the remission, or taking away, or blotting out our sin)
C: confess WITH YOUR MOUTH the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead and YOU SHALL BE SAVED. (a promise from God)
Follow-up: Tell someone about it! Get into a body of believers (a Church) and study Scripture. Pray, (talk to God.) Live as best you can in doing God’s ways. Become a Disciple of Jesus.
Rx for “those who are already believers:”
REPENT OF YOUR WRONG ACTIONS AND STOP THEM AS YOU BEGIN TO DO WHAT YOU KNOW GOD WANTS OF YOU. Otherwise, be prepared for judgment, FROM GOD. Don’t be calling your horrible experiences the devil’s work. When you have been playing on the devil’s playground, you can expect your Daddy to yank a knot in you.