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“I will never stop doing good to them.”

There are so many nuggets of goodness in the Bible. Well, okay, the whole of the Bible is good, but there are pieces that stand out more than others.

Many people think that the God of the Old Testament is an angry, judgemental God and that in the New Testament he became gentle and loving. For this reason, many avoid reading the Old Testament and completely miss his hungering love for his people.

The book of Jeremiah, for instance, is full of God’s expressions of love. Yes, there is anger, but it becomes evident very quickly that his love and passion for his people far exceeds his anger. Consider this:
…this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I will surely gather them from all the lands where I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath; I will bring them back to this place and let them live in safety. They will be my people, and I will be their God…. I will never stop doing good to them…. I will rejoice in doing them good and will assuredly plant them in this land with all my heart and soul…. As I have brought all this great calamity on this people, so I will give them all the prosperity I have promised them. (Jeremiah 32:37-42 NIV)
Babylon is at the gates of Jerusalem, holding siege over the jewel of Judah. God has sent the army of Nebuchadnezzar to fulfill the curse he had promised to his people through Moses, centuries earlier, if they turned their backs on him. For generations they have done all he told them not to and in his patience he waited but now the time has come. The boom has been lowered. The end is near. God is sending his chosen people into captivity. He has good and just reasons for his “furious anger and great wrath” and is exercising his authority.

You’d think that an angry God would abandon such insolent people, wipe the dirt off his hands and start again. In fact, many believe he did just that through Christianity, but he didn’t. Reread the words of his love above: “I will bring them back.” “I will let them live in safety.” “They will be my people.” “I will be their God.” “I will never stop doing good to them.” “I will rejoice in doing them good.” “I will give them prosperity.”

God’s love for his people never stopped. In the midst of their punishment, he is promising them goodness. Our God is a God of love. He always has been and always will be.

Father, thank you for your love. Thank you that it never ends, regardless of how reprobate we become or have been.

Comments

Di said…
I've always seen God's love in the Old Testament. It makes me sad to read because His love is so great, but yet the people just keep turning their backs on Him. Like we do sometimes.

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In My Prayer Room

Oh God
You surround me with your love,
with memories
of who you are
of what you've done
of promises you've made
of who I want to be
of who I am because of you.

You give me hope and joy,
peace and gratitude.
You convict me
and teach me
encourage me
and remind me
of what it means to follow you.












You listen to my prayers
and grant my requests
in your time.
You give me insight
and knowledge
and words to write
to share your presence
your goodness
your love
your admonition
with others.























You expand my love
to pray for friend and foe
near and far
family and stranger
people as pins on maps
clustered and scattered
who know you and reject you
for those in need
and those too full to need.


















You draw me close
and then release me
to bring you close to others
to serve
and love
and give
all I have received.

You fill my heart with joy
that warms
and glows
and bursts
into laughter,
song
and even dance.

You wrap me in your arms
and tell me
"You are mine"
with intensity that burns
and smoul…