Hello brothers and sisters,
As is evidenced by this passage, what a merciful God we worship! What other-worldly compassion HE shows! Throughout their history, God rescued the nation of Judah again and again from their unjust oppressors. For one shining example, just go back and read the entire Book of Exodus. We often falsely hear about how God was always so ‘harsh’ and ‘judgmental’ in the Old Testament. Really? Are we all reading the same Bible? First of all, even when God judges an individual or an entire people group, HE always judges righteously. HE is perfectly holy, and His judgments are always true and righteous (see Revelation 19:2). But when you begin to pour yourself into Scripture, the mercy of God jumps off the pages of the Old Testament.
After all of their rampant idolatry, God justly punishes the nation through the Babylonian siege. But then, or better yet……BUT GOD, is not finished yet. Jeremiah receives Word that God has an astonishing plan. A wonderful and gracious plan that defies all expectations (think Ephesians 3:20!). The plan that HE will restore Judah to their former glory and prosperity. More than that, He will forgive their sins. The idolatrous, unfaithful nation would no longer be under God’s curse, but instead would receive a future blessing.
What??!! Why would God do this?! I mean, the nation was steeped in idolatry and immorality of all kinds. They turned their backs on God again and again. What could possibly motivate God to restore them to their land AND forgive their sins? They don’t deserve that. Well, it comes back to that one word I mentioned above………mercy. Instead of getting what they deserved, Judah received mercy instead of continued judgment. The judgment would come to an end and God would lovingly, and compassionately, bring them back to their former place. And best of all, for the remnant who would return, the Lord would reconcile their relationship to Himself.
And contained within God’s gracious plan is that Jeremiah would call out to God. And his prayers would be heard! And notice the reasons that Jeremiah can confidently call out to God. First off, God gave Jeremiah HIS own Word and promise that He will answer the prophet’s prayers. When God makes a promise, He never fails to follow through. Jeremiah now has hope, a certain expectation that Judah will be restored. And secondly, God describes His own Name and character, therefore giving us unshakable confidence and trust! Because HE is the ‘I AM’ (Yahweh), the self-existent, self-sustaining God, with infinite power to create and sustain the earth, He cannot possibly fail to restore His own people. It goes along with who HE is. God is both able and willing to do it, and nothing is too hard for Him (Jeremiah 32:27). This should give us great confidence in our prayers, because we are praying to the very same God as Jeremiah did (Hebrews 13:8).
Even though the context is very different, we should still see something of our own lives in this passage. We too have committed idolatry, serving ourselves and created things over and above God. Money, sex, food, status, popularity, false religion, etc. The list goes on and on. And because of this, we deserve nothing but God’s wrath and punishment. But then comes the Good News for you, dear Christian. BUT GOD………..He came and rescued us through the Person and work of Christ! He has restored us to Himself. Jesus Christ, the True Israel who obeyed God perfectly, experienced the curse for our idolatry. Now we are the recipients of the ultimate future blessing………to be in the very presence of Christ forever. Let us call out to Him and praise Him for His mercy!