Jeremiah 15:19 Therefore this is what the Lord says: “If you repent, I will restore you…
Sometimes you have to live and endure long enough to see the mercies of God in play. It will be especially sweet when it happens to you this way.
Jeremiah 15 (New International Version)
19 Therefore this is what the Lord says:
“If you repent, I will restore you
that you may serve me;
if you utter worthy, not worthless, words,
you will be my spokesman.
Let this people turn to you,
but you must not turn to them.
20 I will make you a wall to this people,
a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you
but will not overcome you,
for I am with you
to rescue and save you,”
declares the Lord.
21 “I will save you from the hands of the wicked
and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.”
This chapter started all so terribly when God rejected His people even if Moses and Samuel were to appear in front of Him. He would not hesitate to destroy them and He has also asked Jeremiah to not plead for them. He went as far as informing the four distinct ways of how He was going to annihilate His backsliding Judah and Jerusalem flocks. This was after Jeremiah had written 14 chapters describing how devastated God was with His people.
1 Then the Lord said to me: “Even if Moses and Samuel were to stand before me, my heart would not go out to this people. Send them away from my presence! Let them go! 2 And if they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ tell them, ‘This is what the Lord says:
“‘Those destined for death, to death;
those for the sword, to the sword;
those for starvation, to starvation;
those for captivity, to captivity.’
3 “I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” declares the Lord, “the sword to kill and the dogs to drag away and the birds and the wild animals to devour and destroy.
It can be quite terrifying knowing that the Lord’s patience has worn thin and can no longer stand our vile behaviours, hurting not just us alone but also God in the process. It is to a point where He declared that He can no longer hold back too.
6 You have rejected me,” declares the Lord.
“You keep on backsliding.
So I will reach out and destroy you;
I am tired of holding back.
Friends, have you ever been so upset that you would want nothing to do with anyone who has wronged you? Or how about being double crossed and betrayed by the people you’ve personally stretched out your hands to help when they were going through their most difficult time? Have you also been ignored and neglected by your peers, your contemporaries and even your loved ones?
In another example, have you also experienced that your beloved few would rather spend their time hanging out with those whom you know are utterly pretentious and bring nothing but bad news and ill consequences to them instead of indulging some good time with the godly ones?
These and more have been the habits of the people in Judah and Jerusalem up until the time in Jeremiah 15. God was not only thoroughly frustrated with them but also absolutely mad with their rebellious ways.
But the tides of God’s wrath have slowly turned from a few chapters before this and it has become more pronounced in Jeremiah 15 when He voiced His intention to protect His people if they repented and came back to Him. This is on the condition that they will renounce their ways and walk back into the enlightened path with God and follow His ways, including holding godly conversations and doing godly deeds. If they do indeed return that way, God will extend His arms to cover them when they are attacked by their enemies and ensure they will have the victory.
Recalling the people just mentioned above who have seemingly wronged us, are we strong enough to withstand the ugly truths of the past and stand up to forgive and protect them if the situation calls for it? Further, if we were to emulate God’s holy way, do we then have His “heart” to pardon those faults or will we just sit and watch as the enemies come to devour them?
The tail end of Jeremiah 15 is a brilliant display of God’s loving passion to His people. Although having declared endlessly about His unhappiness, still He has in Him to see through it that the very people who have forgotten Him can rise above their enemies.
At this point, do you have someone in your life you could forgive? Are there some faults of others which you can overlook just like God can? And what about our enemies, what if they were being attacked, can you do something about it?
These are questions that beg for us to answer. They represent the core of what being more Christ-like is about because at the end of the day, forgiving a good pal is easy but forgiving an enemy, now that takes a godly character to do so.
May you liberate your life from the burden of unforgiveness because God has already shown His way that He too can forgive, what more when it comes to us. I pray that you will find the strength to do it as God’s Holy Spirit will be there to guide and prompt you when you extend your hands to forgive like He can, in Jesus name, Amen!