Day 75: The Mercy of a Serious God

Jeremiah 15:15-21

Yahweh, you know.
Remember me, visit me,
and avenge me of my persecutors.
You are patient, so don’t take me away.
Know that for your sake I have suffered reproach.
Your words were found,
and I ate them.
Your words were to me a joy and the rejoicing of my heart,
for I am called by your name, Yahweh, God of Armies.
I didn’t sit in the assembly of those who make merry and rejoice.
I sat alone because of your hand,
for you have filled me with indignation.
Why is my pain perpetual,
and my wound incurable,
which refuses to be healed?
Will you indeed be to me as a deceitful brook,
like waters that fail?

Therefore Yahweh says,
“If you return, then I will bring you again,
that you may stand before me;
and if you take out the precious from the vile,
you will be as my mouth.
They will return to you,
but you will not return to them.
I will make you to this people a fortified bronze wall.
They will fight against you,
but they will not prevail against you;
for I am with you to save you
and to deliver you,” says Yahweh.
“I will deliver you out of the hand of the wicked,
and I will redeem you out of the hand of the terrible.”

It appears to me that God accused Jeremiah of being undependable. He’s definitely the One to know. Even though Jeremiah did speak God’s words and separated himself from the people, he must have been influenced by them. This is exactly why it is so personal to me. I have this very same sin in my life. I do speak the truth, but am often influenced by the thoughts of those to whom I am speaking. This perverts my attitude. What the Bible actually tells me to do is to have a clean separation between the ideas of the world and the ideas of God. I should never be allowing myself to think as they do. Could it be that Jeremiah’s complaint to God exposed the fact that he was beginning to think that he really was worthy of people’s hatred? It appears that, by this, Jeremiah was allowing the thoughts of others to influence his. The truth was that Jeremiah didn’t deserve their hatred and that they were completely wrong and would soon be discovering that fact. What they thought about Jeremiah only made it worse for them and that’s it. Let’s look at what God tells us as Christians now:

James 4:4

You adulterers and adulteresses, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

God calls friendship with the world “hostility toward God”. We shouldn’t being going along with the world’s ways at all. God made this clear to Jeremiah in His response, but He also made it clear that if Jeremiah was willing to stay on track, God would make him like a wall that no one would be able to penetrate. The Creator of the Universe personally vowed to be Jeremiah’s protector even though Jeremiah had shown himself to be less than worthy. That is mercy. I find that God is more serious about sin than we are, but He uses it to express the depth of His mercy toward those who put their trust in Him.