Day 86: Jeremiah Stops Defending Israel

Jeremiah 18:11-23

Then they said, “Come! Let’s devise plans against Jeremiah; for the law won’t perish from the priest, nor counsel from the wise, nor the word from the prophet. Come, and let’s strike him with the tongue, and let’s not give heed to any of his words.”
Give heed to me, Yahweh,
and listen to the voice of those who contend with me.
Should evil be recompensed for good?
For they have dug a pit for my soul.
Remember how I stood before you to speak good for them,
to turn away your wrath from them.
Therefore deliver up their children to the famine,
and give them over to the power of the sword.
Let their wives become childless and widows.
Let their men be killed
and their young men struck by the sword in battle.
Let a cry be heard from their houses
when you bring a troop suddenly on them;
for they have dug a pit to take me
and hidden snares for my feet.
Yet, Yahweh, you know all their counsel against me to kill me.
Don’t forgive their iniquity.
Don’t blot out their sin from your sight,
Let them be overthrown before you.
Deal with them in the time of your anger.

Sometimes it seems to us that God is wrong about something. Jeremiah heard God’s message of destruction and punishment for Jerusalem, and he asked God to be merciful but God refused. Perhaps Jeremiah thought that God was being too harsh, that is until they all decided to get together and kill Jeremiah! When that happened, Jeremiah realized that God was right about what He intended to do. Jeremiah even reminded God about what he had previously requested and now said that he wanted God to really come down on them.

There are some good things for us to learn about this. One thing is that God is able to change our hearts to match His. Jeremiah’s heart wasn’t aligned with God’s in regard to the destruction of Israel at first. God didn’t force him into alignment against his will, instead, God changed Jeremiah’s will! That’s exactly how God deals with us. God doesn’t want us to follow Him by forcing ourselves to do what God wants even though we don’t like it. God changes our hearts and causes us to want what He wants. It’s also good for us to learn that there is a time for God’s anger. We live in a time of mercy and grace, but that time eventually comes to an end. There are sins that God has yet to deal with and He will not allow them to go unpunished. When that time comes, there will be no one who will be able to stop Him from bringing His judgment.