Now after I had delivered the deed of the purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, I prayed to Yahweh, saying,
“Ah Lord Yahweh! Behold, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for you. You show loving kindness to thousands, and repay the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them. The great, the mighty God, Yahweh of Armies is your name: great in counsel, and mighty in work; whose eyes are open to all the ways of the children of men, to give everyone according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings; who performed signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, even to this day, both in Israel and among other men; and made yourself a name, as it is today; and brought your people Israel out of the land of Egypt with signs, with wonders, with a strong hand, with an outstretched arm, and with great terror; and gave them this land, which you swore to their fathers to give them, a land flowing with milk and honey. They came in and possessed it, but they didn’t obey your voice and didn’t walk in your law. They have done nothing of all that you commanded them to do. Therefore you have caused all this evil to come upon them.
It’s difficult to relate the the level of fear that must have been in the air at this time in Jeremiah’s life, but by this act of faith, it appears that Jeremiah was encouraged to worship God. What Jeremiah had predicted was coming true, even though it was a horrible thing. On top of that, he also had God’s clear promise to make Israel great again.
This passage reminds us that God can encourage us during times of stress in our lives. It also reminds us that God is in complete control. Israel had disobeyed God for a very long time and they thought that they were getting away with it. They seemed to expect God to keep blessing them even when they had decided to worship other gods and had stopped obeying His laws.
Sin has an unavoidable consequence. I’ve listened to many people as they try to explain why God would never send them to Hell. Most of them admit that they have done bad things, but they try to argue that God is nice and would be willing to overlook their sins and let them into Heaven anyway. That’s not exactly how it works. Jeremiah witnessed the fact that God will punish everyone who sins. The Bible tells us that there can be no forgiveness without punishment and that is not something that my generation appears to understand. The only way to not be punished for our own sins is for us to accept the fact that Jesus was punished for them already. It’s not that God is just ignoring our sins because He is nice. The opposite is true. God isn’t nice about sin at all and He even punished His own Son to prove that point. Our responsibility is to believe this and then God will not have to bring punishment down on us.