May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the Lord your God sends you to tell us (Jeremiah 42:5, NIV).
This week’s lesson brings us toward the end of the saga of Jeremiah the prophet. However, this is not a
and they lived happily ever after ending. In a sense, one could summarize this week’s study, and even a good portion of the book of Jeremiah, by saying that what we see here is an example of the limits of grace. That is, grace will not save those who utterly refuse to accept it. No matter how much the Lord spoke to them, offering them salvation, protection, redemption, peace, and prosperity, all but a tiny and faithful remnant scorned and rebuffed God’s offer.
And what of Jeremiah? His was a life and work that from all human appearances seemed futile! The
weeping prophet had plenty to weep about. Even after everything he warned about came to pass, the people still clung to their sins and paganism and rebellion, openly defying the prophet to his face and scorning the Word of the Lord to them.
How we need to be careful ourselves. Grace is grace because it’s given to the undeserving, yes; but it’s not forced on anyone. We must be willing to accept it.