Monday, November 17, 2008

“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.

1 comment:

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.