Judgment is Sure to Come

In a book entitled Down to Earth, John Lawrence tells the story of a city that dared God to show Himself and paid a terrible price. It seems that the city of Messina, Sicily, was home to many wicked, irreligious people. On December 25, 1908, a newspaper published in Messina … More

Judgment

Jeremiah’s first sermon was one of condemnation to backsliding Israel. The second gave an invitation, “Return unto me.” The third is one of judgment, describing the forthcoming judgement of God’s wrath upon His people for their sin. Again God promises to respond positively if Israel and Judah will indeed return unto Him (vv. 1-4). The Lord tells the people to head for Jerusalem (vv. 5-6). However, their repentance had to be genuine. Jeremiah uses three symbols to describe the coming judgment of the Babylonian invaders from the north.

  1. The first symbol was a lion coming in from the thicket. It comes to destroy not only the cities of Judah but also the Gentiles. He was a destroyer of nations coming to lay waste cities (vv. 7-8) to disrupt all leadership (v. 9), and to take away all national peace (v. 10).
  2. The second symbol is a scorching wind that blows in from the desert. This invasion was prophesied to be destructive to the life and livelihood of the people (vv. 11-14). The hordes of invaders were to come swiftly and in clouds of dust caused by their horses and chariots.
  3. The third symbol was that of the watchers. These were to come from a far country (vv. 15-18), staking out the Holy City and watching movement within its walls, waiting for the strategic moment to strike. The watchers symbolize the eyes of the divine Judge who sees the thoughts, desires and motives of the heart, and determines the moment of execution.

Application

God’s judgement is sure to come in my life if I refuse to allow the Word of God to remove the sin that hardens my heart before the good seed of God’s commands can take root (v. 3). Likewise, I must allow God to remove the thorns in my life if I expect God’s word to take root and grow.

Jeremiah 4:1-18 (English Standard Version)


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