Jeremiah 14: 11—16: 15
Uugghh, I’m having deep thoughts today about this passage. You know I would never want to take something out of context and apply it to someone or something that it does not apply to. This was written to Israel before they were exiled in an attempt to get them to repent and stop sinning against God. We as the modern church can glean truth about God’s character and our sin nature out of these pages, but following the Covenant laid out is Deuteronomy is not required of us. So, let’s not forget that.
But what I do see is a God who hates sin and a God who punishes sin in an attempt to get His people to turn back to Him alone. This stands in stark contrast to the God that is being sold to billions of people today. The God that everyone can swallow is the God who is only love. We cannot fathom a God that would punish sin, much less one that would send people to hell for not believing in Jesus. Even Jeremiah betrays a soft spot for the people and tells God, “It’s not their fault! They are being led astray by the false teachers.” But that still doesn’t change the fact that they make up false gods to worship. And I am afraid that is what has happened to God in people’s minds today. They have made a god they can tolerate. One who does not punish, who loves sin and who never throws people in hell. But that is just not the truth. The passage today shows God’s feelings toward sin. It shows that He does not ignore it and that He will punish it.
But that same God will bring His beloved people back to Jerusalem because He promised He would. He has to bring them back to Jerusalem because back in Genesis He promised that He would send a Savior to crush sin, who would be an Israelite, who would come out of Judah’s line, and out of David’s kingdom. God has to reestablish the Israelites in Jerusalem so we can have all the “begets” in Matthew. (That is a joke, but you get my point.) And that my friends is how a loving God who hates sin deals with sin, by sending the Promised Savior. The wrath could be poured out on creation or He could pour out His wrath on Jesus to save us from the wrath that was stored up for us. The sin has to be dealt with, as we learned from the pages of Jeremiah today, He cannot ignore it. But salvation was always going to come from God. However, you don’t get the salvation without understanding the wrath you deserve for sinning against God. God is not cruel for sending people to hell, He made a way for them to be saved from that wrath, but just like the people in Jeremiah’s day they deny God and make up their own way.
1 Thessalonians 2: 9—3: 13
Have you ever seen the musical “The Music Man?” Well I cannot get this song out of my head since yesterday when I told y’all that Paul was having to defend himself against being accused of being a fly by night salesman. I am going to share it with y’all so we all have it in our heads.
This idea of a salesman coming in and creating a problem and telling people they need what he alone has to offer is exactly what Paul is addressing today. Someone has come into Thessalonica and said that Paul and company are just teaching them this stuff to get money. BUT that is actually what the false teachers are doing! They are telling people that they have to give money to the temple, pay for circumcisions, and such, all to get money out of people, just like Professor Harold Hill did in this town by turning everyone against the pool hall. But this is all false. And we as Christians have to be on the look out.