Vs. 24, “The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back until he fully accomplishes the purposes of his heart. In days to come you will understand this.” “In the days to come” reminds us of this simple fact: Jeremiah was a prophet. Much of what he shares has a reference to events that were to come. Some believe it was the return from exile, but also many biblical scholars also adhere to this pointing to the End Times in Revelations! Despite God’s discipline (vs. 11) upon His people, He would extend mercy and grace (vs. 17). In a selfish way, I like how God will avenge those nations and people who have been mistreating God’s people. We also find much hope because Jeremiah is pointing towards a leader God will raise up (vs. 9)…this would most likely point to Jesus!
Regarding application…God Disciplines Us. Vs. 11, “ I am with you and will save you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Though I completely destroy all the nations among which I scatter you, I will not completely destroy you. I will discipline you but only with justice; I will not let you go entirely unpunished.” This is not a very popular reality about our Father in heaven. But it is one that we must come to understanding with a Godly fear. Positive reinforcement is a popular parenting method these days. It’s old-fashioned to punish. Parents who “ground” their children/teenagers are uncool. Churches who discipline are shunned. Even the reality of a wrathful God is not talked about in many churches. Many people can’t reconcile that a loving God would punish and discipline. Brothers & sisters…just because God punishes doesn’t diminish how amazing God’s love if for us!
Vs. 2, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Question: Why do we fix our eyes on Jesus? Because, He endured the cross…endured the shame…and Jesus is now victorious! It’s almost as if the author is speaking directly to us….there is so much passion in the exhortations! When we are tempted to give up…what a wonderful passage to turn to for inspiration! Be ready to be shaken out of your reverie (Vs. 26)…God is shaking things up! None of us like things shaken up…we like stability, we like security…but God would indeed shake up Israel. They would lose their city, their temple…many of their lives.
Regarding application…God Disciplines Us. Vs. 11, “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Suffering is not punishment. God allows suffering and often disciplines us through suffering….Why? So that we may produce good fruit! Punishment is the work of a judge…disipline is the work of a loving parent to their child. Punishment is to uphold the law…discipline is a proof of God’s love. Rather than rebel from God in suffering, we should draw ever closer for His comfort.
Question: Why is this happening to me? If we respect those who discipline us in this world (Parents, Coaches, Teachers, etc.)…than we need to respect God and stop complaining and throwing “Pity Parties” for ourselves when times get tough. We talked last Sunday about growing up. If Isaac rebelled against Abraham…we wouldn’t even have the preview of Abraham’s possible sacrifice. If Jesus rebelled against God…we probably wouldn’t even be here. As teenagers we adopt the philosophy of the world when we say it is okay to rebel…that’s what teenagers do. Okay…while that may be true…is that what children of God do? I think not. Whether we are 5 years old, 15 years old, or 55 years old…we all have the tendency to want to rebel (it’s our sin nature)…but let us learn to submit to God’s love & discipline so that we can truly live a life that is honoring to God. Don’t forget that the last verse in this chapter reminds us that God is aConsuming Fire (Vs. 29). We need to have a Godly Fear.