I’ve been reading the book of Jeremiah lately.  Last night I was amazed by the Love of God towards Israel even in the midst of their rebellion.  He offered them chance after chance to repent of their sin and turn back to Him.  The land of Israel was full of idol worship, greed, and false prophets.  The people heard Jeremiah’s messages from the Lord and became angry with him.  They accused him of lying and refused to believe that the Lord had sent him.  In the midst of all of this turmoil, God gives Jeremiah prophecies about the Messiah He will one day send.  

I am amazed at the goodness of God.  I used to think He was a judge who was waiting to pounce on me for every wrong I did, but that is not the story the Bible tells about God at all.  Jeremiah 33:10-11 says:

Thus says the Lord; In this place of which you say, ‘It is a waste without man or beast,’ in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord:  ‘Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!’  For I will restore the fotunes of the land as at first, says the Lord.

Even in the midst of the siege of Jerusalem, God promises to restore it.  He keeps sending Jeremiah back to the king to give him another chance to believe the Word of the Lord.  God offers life to king Zedekiah in Jeremiah 38 if he will surrender to the officials of Babylon, all He wants is for the king to obey Him.  I am so thankful that God’s character is to be steadfast in His love – mercful, offering forgiveness and rescue to us.  He never changes (Malachi 3:6)!

The rainbow is a picture of the hope that we have in Jesus.  while the storm is still in the sky, we see the promise of God shining through the clouds in beautiful colors.  It doesn’t matter if the storm I am facing is because of my own rebellion, like Israel, God still offers mercy and deliverance.  When I am in the middle of a storm that is not my fault, I can look to the promise of God and remember that His love is steadfast.  He loves everyone, regardless of our sinfulness.  He offers us forgiveness and restoration if only we will turn away from our sin and walk in obedience to Him.  When we do not obey Him and continually reject the mercy He offers us, we will experience His discipline, however, this doesn’t change His love for us at all!  If I can keep that foremost in my mind, I will see the beauty in the midst of the storm.

The kids and I are studying Matthew in our Bible lessons.  Today’s reading came from Matthew 12.  Jesus quotes Hosea 6:6:

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

In the New Testament Jesus quotes from the Greek Septuagint, which is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scripture.  Steadfast love is translated mercy in the Greek.  It is so neat to see how all of the Bible works together to show us who God is.  He is the same before Jesus birth and after Jesus birth.  He longs for the world to know Him, love Him, and experience salvation and the abundant life that He freely gives!  Lets go forward today showing mercy to others as Jesus has lovingly shown mercy to us!

Listen to this song: Kindness