Whom God Loves, He Purifies
In chapter three, God described Himself as One whose love for His people goes beyond any expression of love ever known among humanity. With that in mind, it seems God contradicts that love with His warning to the Jews that He will open the way for a military invasion of their land. The fact is, many people have questioned God's love when He allows or orders adversity and loss to happen to those He also says He loves. Many question why a loving God would be so seemingly cruel.
True love can never ignore something that will eventually destroy the very object of that love. God has promised to chasten those He loves because He is unwilling to stand by and watch a person self-destruct. It is much more loving to use pain to help a person face themselves than to avoid a confrontation and allow the person to continue on the road to ruin.
Here, during Jeremiah's time, God's people were on course to lose everything God had graciously given them. He sought first to correct them as gently as possible. But they refused to receive His correction and more painful measures needed to be taken (5:3).
God used Jeremiah to reveal the true condition of His people's hearts by illuminating their response to God's call to repentance and restoration. Like ore placed in a crucible to remove its impurities, Israel was found to have nothing left that was of value. There was nothing in them that would cause them to turn their hearts back to God. All that was left was dross. God had to resort to the painful approach of chastening to restore God's people. They had to lose everything, including their freedom. They would be taken to another nation as slaves. But even then, God promised He would not completely put an end to them as a nation. He promised to restore a remnant from among thempeople who one day would return to Israel and rebuild their nation (15:15-19). This promise would be fulfilled after their Babylonian captivity and then once again in our own time.
No other nation in the history of human civilization has been preserved since ancient times like Israel. God does the same with us individually. How much He must do to remove our destructive rebellion against Him is up to us!
-Calvary Church Boise
Created 11 months ago