Having been really contemplating the book of Jeremiah, understanding that the reason for Jeremiah’s prophecy’s were to warn Israel and Judah of the coming judgment at the hands of the Persian empire, I’ve come upon some interesting thoughts.
1. It seems the God I understood to be an angry and mean God from the old Testament was not mean at all. Like a mother does to her child, God gave ample warning to His children. Where we say, “if you don’t clean your room and refuse to obey me you will be spanked and sent to your room,” God was saying, “if you don’t clean up your act and obey me you will be ‘spanked’ and taken from your warm homes!” God gave them a chance. He offered them a way out. He practically begged them to listen. But they wouldn’t.
2. Had Israel heeded the warnings of Jeremiah, repented and turned back to God, they would have lived prosperously, comfortably, and very, very, happily. All through the first 10 chapters of Jeremiah, God tells His people over and over again that complete and utter pain and destruction would come to them if they did not repent but He also spoke of the sweetness of how life would be if they did repent.
So, this left me really thinking. How then, if I’ve repented, done all I’m supposed to do, (that I know of anyway,) why is it that bad things still happen to me? God loves me. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I try to be a good Christian. Hmmmmmmmmm.
The answer seems to be this. When God warned Israel, He was warning an entire nation of people. If they had repented they would have been serving no other God besides the One True God. As a people, they would not have allowed sin to enter the walls of Jerusalem. I am but one person in a world that is fallen. The outside influences of the world come into my home on a daily basis. I have contact with people who are not Christians. I am a Christian living in the world.
Is that a bad thing? Oh, by no means! It is not a bad thing! What it means is that I am subject to the same things every person in the world is subject to. The difference is, I have hope. When things get bad, I always have hope because I can trust that God, who is bigger than me and all my “issues” can take care of me through it and bring me to the other side of my troubles, better, and stronger, than I was before.
These are the ponderings of my heart today.