Saturday, May 1, 2010

out of the frying pan...

The Word for today: Jeremiah 48

Mark this: verse 44, "Whoever flees from the terror will fall into the pit, whoever climbs out of the pit will be caught in a snare; for I will bring upon Moab the year of her punishment declares the LORD."

Jeremiah opens his mouth, and here it comes again; judgement. Heaped on an already insurmountable pile. God spells it out, leaving no room for misunderstanding. This what you have done, these are the people responsible. No action unaccounted for, no individuals allowed to slide under the radar. God says to the Moabites, the Egyptians, the Philistines, the Ammonites, the Edomites and all the others... "I've seen it all."

His narrative about their sin is complete. All injured parties are acknowledged. The penalties are explained in a narrative that clarifies for the hearers the severity of the offences. " 'On all the roofs in Moab and in the public squares there is nothing but mourning, for I have broken Moab like a jar that no one wants,'declares the Lord.(v.38)" Pure justice, without prejudice. The penalty to be executed as surely as when God creatively spoke the world into existence.

"Out of the pit, into the snare."

None of what we do escapes God's notice. "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." (Hebrews 4:13) One day, we too, will have a day of judgement.


Although the thought of a personal judgement turns me to jelly on the insides, it is also accompanied by a groan of relief. If God hasn't missed any of my mistakes, little white lies and thoughtless acts along with my flagrant disobediences, this justice insures that all my sins are covered! Because nothing has been left in the darkness, I know that I can enter my Father's house in Eternity without shame.

"Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of of the remnant of his inheritance?
You will not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy.
You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins under foot and hurl our iniquities into the depths of the sea." (Micah 7:18-19)
I have spoken with many people inside and outside of churches who blame this picture of the Old Testament, judging God, as found in Jeremiah, for their resistance to the person of Jesus. I hear them. Maybe you are one of them.
If you are in that place I want to plead, even beg you, to be patient. God wants you to know Him in all His aspects. Even as you read with us though the Bible, standing in His rain, day after day, God wants to show Himself to you. Moving back and forth from Old Testament to New Testament in our readings, all the aspects of His attributes will become fully integrated for you and even pictured for you in His Son, Jesus Christ.
Please allow you name to be included in this prayer for all of us today;
Holy God, help our understanding. Strengthen us for this reading of your Word. Increase our endurance and faith as we give this time each day to hear from you. Help us all Father with our unbelief. This day, we choose to believe you and obey. We love you, help us to love you more.

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