God pleads with His people . . .
Jeremiah 17:1-4 NLT
“The sin of Judah is inscribed with an iron chisel— engraved with a diamond point on their stony hearts and on the corners of their altars. Even their children go to worship at their pagan altars and Asherah poles, beneath every green tree and on every high hill. So I will hand over my holy mountain— along with all your wealth and treasures and your pagan shrines— as plunder to your enemies, for sin runs rampant in your land. The wonderful possession I have reserved for you will slip from your hands. I will tell your enemies to take you as captives to a foreign land. For my anger blazes like a fire that will burn forever.”
Reflection . . .
The history of the people of God (the Israelites) is one of unfaithfulness and rebellion against God for lack of faith and trust in Him. Their desires were to be like the nations around them worshipping their idols and gods and practicing their abhorrent rituals. God’s response was to give them what they desired because being the almighty God who cannot tolerate sin, He had to let them go, hand them over to their sinful desires. Here in this passage, we read of God’s anger blazing against them. God hands them over into captivity to experience the real consequence of living completely contrary to God’s ways.
You may ask, “was their sin really that bad?” Well, if you can imagine religious places consumed with temple prostitution and all kinds of sensual desires being fulfilled in honour of fertility gods, then you get a glimpse of what was happening. They desired these activities over pure honourable practices of worship before God. Over and over again throughout the Bible we read of God’s pleading with His people to come back and be restored. But they didn’t want to, so God allowed them to be captured by their oppressors.
In Christ we have hope, we have love and mercy expressed to the ultimate. We are forgiven in Him, but we also need to keep guard of our hearts and minds so that we can live in wonderful communion with God. We must do regular check ups on ourselves to make sure we’re in a good place. Regular confession before God and asking for cleansing is necessary to remain humble and attentive to God’s voice.