Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 10, 2017

“I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.”

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 25:1-11.

“The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, saying, “From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, these twenty-three years the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened.  And the Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear, saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your deeds, and dwell on the land which the Lord has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever;  and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.’  Yet you have not listened to Me,” declares the Lord, “in order that you might provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm.

“Therefore thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Because you have not obeyed My words, behold, I will send and take all the families of the north,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will send to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, My servant, and will bring them against this land and against its inhabitants and against all these nations round about;  and I will utterly destroy them and make them a horror and a hissing, and an everlasting desolation.  Moreover, I will take from them the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones and the light of the lamp.  This whole land will be a desolation and a horror, and these nations will serve the king of Babylon seventy years.”  Jeremiah 25:1-11.

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“… even to this day, these twenty-three years the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened.  And the Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear …”  Verses 3-4.

We all must agree.  This is very familiar Scripture.  It seems like we read in every chapter similar Scripture of the LORD’s warning, call to repentance, the failure of the people to listen, and prophecy.

Why did the LORD wait so long to punish?

The LORD wanted to show His patience, His lovingkindness, and His justice.

‘The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression;  but He will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generations.’”  Numbers 14:18. 

What if God, although willing to demonstrate His wrath and to make His power known, endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction?  And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles.  As He says also in Hosea,

“I will call those who were not My people, ‘My people,’
And her who was not beloved, ‘beloved.’”
And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’
There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved;  for the Lord will execute His word on the earth, thoroughly and quickly.”  Romans 9:22-28.

Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches;  but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth;  for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.”  Jeremiah 9:23-24.

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