God called the people of Judah to a better way of life. “Learn not the way of the nations.” The other people groups of the earth worshiped lifeless idols. How could it be that God’s own chosen ones would desire these other “gods” and turn away from the Almighty?
“There is none like You, O Lord.” Jehovah alone was the true God. All the other man-made objects of worship and demonic spirits would one day “perish from the earth and from under the heavens.”
A small taste of final judgment would come to Judah in the days of Jeremiah. They would face an enemy siege that would leave them hungry and completely demoralized. God would send them off into exile where they would be subject to those who were not His people.
This fact broke the heart of the prophet Jeremiah, but it also was something that Jehovah Himself grieved. Speaking of the place where the Lord had lived among His people, God said, “My tent is destroyed, and all My cords are broken; My children have gone from Me, and they are not.”
This grief of God for His wandering elect, together with His holy justice and faithful love, would one day be lived out most fully in the death of Jesus on the cross. Salvation would come through Christ alone.
Jeremiah knew that “the way of man is not in himself, that it is not in man who walks to direct his steps.” Human beings needed to be humble before the sovereign Lord of all. They needed correction, but would they be able to stand the judgment of God?
The prophet asked that the Lord would give Judah the measured “justice” of a courtroom, and not the “anger” of a powerful soldier coming against his enemy. God’s ultimate answer for all discipline and every punishment that His beloved people deserve would be found entirely in the cross. The Son of God would take all of the eternal sanctions that were coming against us, and we would receive all the rewards of divine blessing that the Almighty had prepared for Jesus.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
God of Truth and Beauty, we will not be fooled by the idolatry of the nations. Their gods are objects made by men. You alone are the Lord, full of wisdom, and speaking words of the most valuable instruction. You are clothed in majesty. You have wrath that we could never endure. You made the earth by Your power and understanding. You control the motions of the clouds, and the lives of human beings. You are the portion of Your people and the Lord of angels. You bring distress upon us when we need Your fatherly discipline. Take away our stupidity. Give us sense. Show us the way of life. Do not correct us in Your anger, or we will be brought to nothing.