Today, I would like to put up a Sunday blog post. I would like to share with you, the thoughts that passed through my mind when I was reading my Bible a few days ago. I pray that this will help you. Please feel free to join this discussion. Leave a comment or put up a post on your own blog. God bless you and have a great day.
I was reading Jeremiah and I got to chapter 15. When I got to verse 6, I was intrigued by what I read.
‘ You have forsaken me, says the LORD, you are gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against you, and destroy you; I am weary of relenting.’
Throughout the Old Testament, we see a God who is judgmental. He had brought out Israel with a mighty hand but they had forgotten him. But what interested me in this verse is the word ‘stretched’.
Why did the LORD have to stretch his hand?
Because the people of Judea had gone backwards and away from Him. Sin had brought about a distance between them. What we should remember is that the LORD stretched out his hand to destroy.
But today I am not here to talk about a God who destroys but a God who saves. . . .
Come to the New Testament,
Look at the Cross. . .
What do you see there?
Stretched hands, stretched out willingly by God the Son, Jesus Christ. The hands that were stretched out to destroy in the Old Testament, were stretched out to save in the New Testament.
The picture of the cross also shows us the extent to which God the Father had to stretch out his hand to let His only Son die for a mankind that had run away from him.
To realize the importance of that sacrifice you have to think of who God is and about the state we were in.
God could be all that he is and remain in heaven. Why did he have to come down for you?
When I look into my life, I don’t see anything that deserves such a selfless sacrifice.
Do you know what the people of Judah got for their sin?
Verse 3 says:
” I will send four kinds of destroyers against them,” declares the LORD, “the sword to kill, the dogs to tear, and the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth to devour and destroy.”
This is what they got. When you go to Genesis, you see how God appoints man above the birds of the sky and the beasts of the earth. The very things that man should have ruled over was now ruling over him. This was our case. The idols in our life we were meant to conquer was ruling over us. But through Jesus, all these have already been conquered. It is a gift. We don’t have to fight for it. We only have to accept it.
The thing is, you might think how cruel that punishment is. It is human to think so. But what I saw in this chapter is that even when God rebukes them he calls them ‘My people’. He loves them and the punishment saddens him more than it saddens them. But God is just and he has to do it.
But after the Cross that changed. . . .
In Jeremiah, we see how the treasures that Judea had built up for itself was all taken to a foreign land( Babylon) and how the fire of God would burn against them.
But at the Cross, that fire that should have burned against us was exhausted and for all those who accept Jesus into their lives, their treasures are in heaven.
Oh, what love!!!!
The Cross is a brilliant picture of the love of God, pointing to the east, west, north and south talking of how God himself had to stretch out his hand towards mankind to save them.. . . .
This picture also gave me a challenge.
Am I loving the others around me like God loved me. Am I always ready to ‘stretch’ my hand out to those around me?
We are not perfect. But it also means that there is always room for change.