May 6, 2018
GOD CAN AND WILL USE OUR LIFE STORY FOR HIS GLORY
Jeremiah is not an altogether happy book. As Isaiah before him, Jeremiah prophesied of the coming destruction should Judah continue in its rebellion against God. He opens the book with a long allegory of Israel and Judah acting as unfaithful brides to their God. At every turn Israel would seek after the opportunities to please other gods, and Judah would simply watch. The Husband warned Israel that should she continue in her unfaithfulness, He would divorce her. Israel continued, God acted upon his warning, and Assyria came and scattered Israel. Judah, the Husband’s other unfaithful wife, having watched all these things occur, began to follow in Israel’s footsteps of unfaithfulness and rebellion. God offers Judah the same choice, repent or divorce, and Judah hardened her heart toward the path of divorce. What an unhappy set of circumstances for Jeremiah to be prophesying about.
The heart of the application is this: bad actions and decisions lead to bad results; bad results do not equal complete destruction; God can and will use our life story for His glory. As God punishes us, our temple may be destroyed, and our home taken from us, but all is not lost. As we lose the things of this world that we think make us, we can have a better picture of the One who made us. God punishes those he loves, and if we are experiencing punishment, we should be seeking after God for relief. As Satan bet with God over the faithfulness of Job, so does he bet with God over each of us. If we turn away from God in our anguish, then Satan will have won the bet. Jeremiah’s ultimate message is one of hope: God does not choose us for today, not for a moment, but forever; rebellion will hurt us and our time on Earth, but God will not fail to complete the good work he has begun in us.