Saturday, September 13, 2014

Does a loving God reject People?

Read Jeremiah 6.

Are there any more sobering words in the universe than "the LORD has rejected them"? (v.30)  Yes.

While the context has to do with Judah experiencing God's punishment with 70 years of captivity, there are words even more devastating.  Jesus foretold of the final judgment when He will say to those who rejected Him, "Depart from me, you cursed into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels." (Matthew 25:41)  "And if anyone's name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire." (Revelation 20:15)

In His steadfast love and grace, the LORD sent spokesmen to warn the people about their sin.  He offered forgiveness and restoration of themselves and their nation.  In His patience, God waited for them to respond.  "Behold, the word of the LORD is to them an object of scorn; they take no pleasure in it.  Therefore I am full of the wrath of the LORD; I am weary of holding it in." (vv.10b-11)

The false prophets kept preaching, "'Peace, peace', when there is no peace." (v.14)

They could have experienced God's blessings instead.  They had a choice but refused to take it.  "They have not paid attention to my words; and as for my law, they have rejected it." (v.19)

What did God want them to do?  They had spiritually lost their way.  The comparison in verse 16 is that of a traveler who took the wrong turn.  Instead of trying to figure it out on your own and making matters worse, just admit you are lost and go back to the place you know is right.  Pride keeps us going in the wrong direction.
1. "Ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is."
The Bible was complete by the end of the first century A.D. but it is the only authoritative source of knowing God, receiving forgiveness of sin, and having eternal life.  Indeed, it is good news and the good way.

2. "Walk in it."
When one experiences a personal relationship with the LORD, there is a responsibility to keep learning and living for Him each day.

3. "Find rest for your souls."
The results are beyond compare.  Instead of aimlessly wandering through life, a follower of Jesus lives on purpose.  The storms of life come but "the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:7)

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