Prayer for the day
Proclaim the greatness of the LORD our God and worship him upon his holy hill; for the LORD our God is the Holy One.
Scripture for the day
The violence and calamity that Jeremiah prophesies against the people of God is tremendous. It is a terrifying thought that God would pour out his wrath on his people because of their disobedience and wickedness.
What always amazes me about this passage in Jeremiah is the two little sentences that God speaks to his people: “Perhaps they will listen and each will turn from their evil ways. Then I will relent and not inflict on them the disaster I was planning because of the evil they have done.”
It’s amazing. God has all this wrath stored up, all this anger about what the people have done. God has every right and every opportunity to really SMITE these folks, but instead, he offers this way out! Instead of just dropping them off the edge of the world, God holds out hope for his people. Maybe, says God, I won’t have to carry out what I plan. Maybe they will change. Oh, how I hope they change.
The letter to Titus has a similar thread running through it! The grace of God, says the writer, offers salvation to people, enabling them to turn from saying “yes” to the world and the things that are in opposition to God to saying “no” to ungodliness and sin. This “no” allows us to live lives of self-control, set on the course that God determines, living for God and for no one else, including ourselves!
The command and hope of God for his people to turn away from their wickedness run throughout the entirety of scripture. The way we live is not the way we are designed to live.
It’s time to turn.