Why don’t they get it?

(Today's post by Joshua Jones)

Jeremiah 24-25

As I read through today’s section of Scripture, “Why don't they get it?” was exactly what I was thinking. As we have been reading through the book of Jeremiah, this has been a common thought. God, speaking through Jeremiah, continuously gives warning after warning to his people to turn from their evil ways and follow Him. Through all of those warnings, God’s people go about doing what they would, ignoring the warnings of the coming wrath.

This past week, the college small group that my wife and I lead discussed the fact that God is a perfect example of a Father to us. How many of us growing up were told that the stovetop was hot, maybe even multiple times? How many of our fathers told us not to do something, gave us chance after chance, but we still made the decision to go against him? God, as our perfect heavenly Father, knows the outcome of our sin. He knows the consequences, and just like the father who warns the child continuously about the hot stove top, God warns his people about the repercussions of sin in our lives.

I remember growing up and doing things blatantly because I was told not to. It’s the rebel in me. Don’t touch that? Oh okay, I’m going to see how long I can before you notice. Don’t drive my sister’s car when she is out of town? Why not?-It is nicer than the one I've got. Time and time again, I got in TROUBLE for doing something that I was told not to do. And looking back, it is hard to admit, my parents knew what was best for me. They didn’t tell me to do something just because. They always had a reason.

God warned his people of the effects of sin. Continuously. He knew more than anyone else, what the cost of sin was. Even still, God knows the results of our sins. Broken families, relationships with no hope of recovering, addictions, depression. The list goes on and on. He warns his people to protect his people. But as we see in Jeremiah, sometimes we need a wake-up call.

When I placed my hand on the blazing hot stove top, guess what? I learned my lesson. When I got caught driving my sister’s car to school and went the next few months without my own, I learned another lesson. We grow up thinking consequences are bad. But they grab our attention and focus it on where it should be. After warning upon warning, God allowed his people to be taken into exile. That was a wake up call for the Jewish nation. This consequence refocused the nation on the True God, and paved the way for the revelation of the Messiah. However, once again, the people of God turned away.

God makes it very clear that sin has consequences. The apostle Paul, in the letter to the Romans, writes that “the wages of sin is death”. (Rom. 6:23) However, it doesn’t stop there. Just as God pleaded with his people through the prophet Jeremiah, he is pleading with us to accept the way out of sin- through the blood of his Son. The last half of Romans 6:23 begins with a great big “but”: “But the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus Our Lord.” Yes, because of our rebellion in sin, we are condemned to death, but just as a good earthly father would not keep gifts from his children, God gives us a gift that overrides our condemnation. He hates sin, and hates seeing us sin, but he hates seeing us die because of our sin even more. How great of a blessing is it that this gift was freely given!

Now, back to Jeremiah. Many people then and now do not take serious the consequences of their sin. God pleaded with his people to turn away from their wickedness and back to Him. He is doing the same today, pleading with the world we live in to turn away from the sin and back to Him. How will you respond? Will you pass up the gift, freely given? Or will you stand there and blatantly ignore God?

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