Jeremiah 42,43,44; Psalms 48; Revelation 13
“Then all the men who were aware that their wives were burning sacrifices to other gods, a large assembly responded to Jeremiah saying, “As for the message you have spoken to us in the name of the Lord, We are not going to listen to you. But rather we will certainly carry out every word that has proceeded from our mouths by burning sacrifices to the queen of heaven …” (Jeremiah 44:5)
Hard hearts. Resistant souls. Strong-minded people. Defiant saints.
No, it wasn’t that they were all pagans. Many of them knew God. They weren’t ignorant. They knew full well what they were doing. So, God sent prophet after prophet, with warning after warning. Yet, they told Jeremiah to take a hike. Or maybe they were saying that to God.
They enjoyed their lifestyle, the immorality, the defiant-to-God life. They had the “666” on their foreheads, and they loved it so. But why? Why would they be so defiant in their sin and lifestyle when they knew that it was against God’s heart?
One possibility is that they mistook God’s grace for the absence of consequences. God gives grace and delays the consequences for one reason alone — repentance.
But, when the people saw that there were no consequences, they misdefined God's grace. Those who lived that lifestyle felt they could continue in sin … since God was withholding consequences anyway.
But God does not withhold consequences. He delays them so we will repent and return!
The same deception that Lucifer used in the garden, he yet uses today. For when Eve said, “’God told us that if we ate of this fruit we shall die,’ Lucifer replied: ‘You surely shall not die. For God knows that in the day you eat from it, your eyes will be open …!’ So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight to the eyes … and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took of the fruit and ate!’” (Gen. 3:4).
Without consequences, those who live in sin figure their lifestyle is the lifestyle of choice. So, God will, at times, remove His grace and allow consequence- the good, bad and ugly consequences. And when they come down, how often we curse God instead of coming to God!
Often, we don’t know what we’ve got until it’s gone. But by then, it’s too late.
God, I’m grateful for Your grace, but let me not take this for granted! I’d rather learn from wisdom than consequences any day! Thank You for this reminder.