Focus verses: Jeremiah 16:1-21
God’s judgment on the nation seems harsh and His separation of Jeremiah from all society seems even harsher. Jeremiah is not to marry, not to enter a house of mourning, not to enter a house of celebration.
And God tells Jeremiah the reasons why this disaster is coming upon the land. It is because the fathers of this generation were unfaithful to the Lord and followed after idols. But more than that, it is because this generation is even more wicked, following after the stubbornness of their own hearts.
God tells Jeremiah that He will scatter the nation to various lands, chiefly to the north (Babylon). But there will come a time when He will not be known as the God who restored Israel from Egypt, but as the God who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where He had banished them. He promises to restore them to the land He gave their forefathers.
Actions have consequences. And like any good parent, God will not stand between His children and the consequences of their own actions. Israel has separated itself from the Lord time and again. Her momentary repentances and fidelities have been many – and short lived. She always goes back to her own devices, following the dictates of the human heart without regard for God and His laws. This fickleness has brought on the diaspora.
When people ask about how a loving God can consign anyone to hell, they are missing the point. God does not consign people to hell. He lets them go their own way. People make the choice, not God.
There are only two places to live in this universe. One is in the presence of God. The other is away from God. The first is heaven; the second is hell.
If you choose to live in the presence of God, acknowledging His sovereignty over all things, you can live in a little piece of heaven on earth. He will honor your choice, and you will have the fullness of His presence in heaven for eternity.
If you choose to live without regard for God, ignoring Him at every turn, He will not push Himself on you in eternity. If you have chosen to live absent of God on this earth, He will honor your choice in eternity. You will have chosen hell over heaven.
Thank You for making it clear that Your judgments are just and righteous. Thank You for promising to restore the remnant. Help us to remain part of Your faithful remnant.