Sometimes we show contempt for God’s kindness. As we follow our own evil hearts instead of obeying God, he bears with us to a point, hoping we will repent. We often ignore God’s grace, though, and wait until he disciplines us to blame him for his wrath…
10 “When you tell these people all this and they ask you, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such a great disaster against us? What wrong have we done? What sin have we committed against the Lord our God?’ 11 then say to them, ‘It is because your ancestors forsook me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshiped them. They forsook me and did not keep my law. 12 But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors. See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts instead of obeying me.”
4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?
5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.” 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil…
Have you been under the wrath of God and wondering why God is bringing disaster to you? This is where Judah was in Jeremiah 16. God knew they would ask the question, and the answer was a mirror to their own behaviour. Don’t look at me… Look at you!
In this life, God repays each person according to their deeds. Judah was more wicked than their ancestors by following their own evil hearts instead of obeying God. In Romans 2, we see the accusation that the Roman Christians were judging others for their sin, while being guilty of the same or other sins all the while.
They were showing contempt for God’s kindness and forbearance.
Look at the truth of Romans 2:4: God’s kindness is intended to lead us to repentance. God puts up with a lot of disobedience in our lives prior to disciplining his children. That forbearance should lead us to repent – to turn back from our sin. But often it doesn’t. We ignore God’s patience with us and focus on our own plans and goals and evil purposes (following our hearts rather than God’s heart).
The warning today is to check ourselves in two areas: first, watch that you aren’t judging the sin of others while harbouring your own sin; second, realize that if your heart is not 100% focused on God’s plan and you are holding closely to your own heart’s plan, there is a good chance you are off-course.
If we want to be blessed and live long, full lives, God’s way is the path.
What path are you on?