Yesterday I was celebrating Psalm 139’s promise that although God knows all about us, including our thoughts, deeds and words before they are spoken, he still loves us. Pretty amazing, right? Well today we see that if we mock God, we risk serious consequences…
12 The kings of the earth did not believe,
nor did any of the peoples of the world,
that enemies and foes could enter
the gates of Jerusalem.
13 But it happened because of the sins of her prophets
and the iniquities of her priests,
who shed within her
the blood of the righteous.
14 Now they grope through the streets
as if they were blind.
They are so defiled with blood
that no one dares to touch their garments.
15 “Go away! You are unclean!” people cry to them.
“Away! Away! Don’t touch us!”
When they flee and wander about,
people among the nations say,
“They can stay here no longer.”
16 The Lord himself has scattered them;
he no longer watches over them.
The priests are shown no honor,
the elders no favor.
Here’s the flip side. When you are in a faith relationship with God, as Israel was in the time of Jeremiah, and you decide to dishonour God and not listen to him, you could find yourself scattered. In fact, that hand of God which hems you in behind and before (read Psalm 139:1-6) is walling you in when you get to Lamentations (3:7).
People couldn’t believe that God would ever turn on Israel, and then he snapped. There is a line. I hope I never get to that line with God, yet other days I feel like I am toeing it.
How about you?
It seems as if the stakes are even higher for prophets and priests. If you are in leadership within church settings, you better pay even more attention. And shouldn’t it be that way? How many stories of impropriety have there been with church leadership?
Terrible sins deserve punishment, don’t they.
Jeremiah paints the picture of what that punishment looks like. Beware that it isn’t us.
We’ve been served…