The prophets called Israel and Judah to run toward God and His Word. In the days of Jeremiah, many of God’s people were plainly unwilling to respond to the Lord’s warning. It all sounded so distant until foreign adversaries were right at the city gates. The “lovely and delicately bred … daughter of Zion” had a very hard heart. She simply would not hear. One day it would be too late to flee from the enemy. When the siege mounds were laid against Jerusalem, there would be no way of escape.
To make good use of the prophetic Word, the people of God needed “circumcised” ears. Though they had been marked in their flesh as covenant keepers, they would not listen to the Lord. They were bringing the wrath of God upon themselves.
The judgment that was coming against Jerusalem was not only for one segment of society. God’s discipline would be experienced by husband and wife, young and old, rich and poor. Those who should have known better tried to drown out Jeremiah’s warning with a false message of peace for the complacent. They would not return to the “ancient paths” where humble sinners hear the true call of God and return to Him.
God would judge wickedness among His covenant people in the sight of the nations of the world. The Lord would finally bring “terror on every side” to the remaining people in the land. No matter how much God warned His people, both with words of correction and actions of chastisement, nothing changed their hearts.
When would God’s chosen ones finally listen? First the problem of their unrighteousness had to be solved through the perfect obedience of Jesus Christ. Then their debt had to be paid through the highest price imaginable—the Lord’s own holy blood. With that great work completed, the Risen Savior of the world entered the true Jerusalem above. From that place of divine victory, He and the Father would send forth the promised Holy Spirit. Only then would Jew and Gentile receive what was so desperately needed—ears to hear.
We thank the Son of God for this spiritual blessing bought at such a very great price. Through the powerful Holy Spirit and according to the decree of our glorious Father, we are being refined for His glory. We have found our eternal safety and everlasting joy in almighty God.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father God, the Day of Your Wrath is coming. Before that final moment, there are many times of trouble for Your church, for You discipline those whom You love. We thank You for Your care that claims and restrains us. Our ears are not listening to Your Word as we ought to. We are not blushing at Your correction. We ignore the warnings of Your watchmen. We love the things of this world. When trouble comes, we are sometimes made more willing to consider Your Law. Will we be doomed to fall over the stumbling-blocks that have come into our path? This is no one’s fault but our own. We have had hearts of iron and have been unwilling to hear. Have mercy on us.