After so many years of enjoying God’s blessing and protection, the Jewish people have chosen to worship idols of wood and stone, forgetting to acknowledge God as the only true God. Bad leadership and foreign influences combined with a deliberate choice to turn to other “gods” resulted in the people turning their backs on the God who had miraculously led them to the Promised Land, protected them from many enemies, and established the kingdoms of David and Solomon.
Jeremiah is a strong, but lonely voice calling a wicked and rebellious people to repentance and reconciliation. God gave Jeremiah a vision into the future of how His holy wrath would devastate the land and its people, and the prophet was horrified at what he saw. He laments that not even one honest person can be found to help save the people from the impending doom. In the midst of all the coming devastation, Jeremiah voices God’s promise not to destroy the people completely and holds out hope that reconciliation can still come through a return to obedience.
Reconciliation is a major theme in God’s Word, as God seeks to establish a personal relationship with all of us. In the first chapter of Colossians Paul rejoices in the wonderful message he brings of how Christ’s sacrifice on the cross brings all people the ability to turn from being God’s enemy into being God’s friend. He stresses that this reconciliation is available to both Jew and Gentile and urges the believers to stand firm in their faith.
Paul disputes the heresy that only a privileged few understand the “mystery” of the Gospel and points out that all believers can have a “compete understanding” of who Christ is. The “mystery” of the Gospel is profound in its simplicity: Jesus’ blood can reconcile us to God if we believe and accept that free gift and come to Him in faith. Amazing grace indeed!
Question of the day: Do we truly understand the importance of faith and obedience in being reconciled to God? What part does obedience play in ensuring God’s blessings in our lives?
We praise You, O God, for Your justice and mercy to us. We rejoice with Paul in the wonder of the Gospel message of reconciliation to God. Guard our paths so we avoid pitfalls and carefully practice obedience in living for You.