Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Jeremiah 33, 34, 36, 37 (and probably more): Second Chances

I wish I had been counting all the second (and third and fourth) chances God gives us to his people.

"If you will do this, I will relent and deliver you."

In chapter 33, God tells the people, Call to me, and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you don't know." So the people set their slaves free, according to the law of Moses, and God has compassion on them. And then they change their minds and take back the slaves they had freed. God reinstates the punishment and makes it worse.

In chapter 36, God tells Jeremiah to write down his prophecies. He says, "Maybe when the people hear about every disaster that I plan to inflict on them, they will turn from their sin so that I can forgive them."

They don't, of course. Instead the burn the scroll and put Jeremiah (and his scribe) in jail.

God doesn't delight in the discipline.
He continually shows compassion.
His desire is to relent and restore.

And yet he cannot compromise his holiness.
Some people think this is lack of love or lack of compassion, but I don't agree.
God is holy. He is God. He does not change.

Everlasting love.
Refusal to compromise.
Willingness to forgive.
Desire to restore.

Are we like him?

Oh, and I just thought of this, too.
Sometimes I avoid God because I don't think I deserve second chances. God loves me with an everlasting love. He wants a relationship with me. He wants to give me second chances, and he wants me to take them. Wow. That's a really nice thing to remember.

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