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God’s Answer March 16, 2017

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Jeremiah 12:5-17.

Summary: In this passage, God begins by warning Jeremiah about his relatives – as even they have rejected his prophecies. He then addresses his complaint from the previous passage, asserting that He will punish His people for their sins and smite their land. He concludes by addressing the pagan neighbors of Judah who have appropriated her land; in particular, He will not punish them forever based on that sin – but only if they promise to worship Him.

Thoughts: In verse 7, we see that God will punish His beloved people. Now although I am not a parent, I do have a hazy notion of the thoughts and emotions that a parent experiences when they discipline their misbehaving child. In particular, recently I volunteered as a teacher for a K-2 Sunday School class at my church; that experience reinforced the importance of setting boundaries for the students and communicating the consequences of misbehavior. While I did not enjoy rebuking the students for their actions, I found it helpful to adopt a long-term perspective on this point; basically, I want to inculcate them with habits that they can employ as adults.

In verses 14-17, we see that God extends an offer of salvation to the pagan neighbors of Judah. This is a valuable reminder that God’s love is not confined to Jews; indeed, He desires that all people enter a covenant relationship with Him. As a Gentile, I am especially thankful for this fact. Of course, my recent stroll through the book of Acts reveals that preaching the Gospel to Gentiles has its attendant challenges, including the importance of overcoming roadblocks that are unique to the target’s culture, religion, etc. For example, believers should consider how to properly engage with those who adhere to polytheism.

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