September 14, 2022 Southshore Bible Church

Jeremiah 16

Jeremiah 16

Last fall we talked about the gospel (good news), which Jody summarized in 5 words beginning with the letter G. Do you remember what they were?

 

God, guilt, grace, gratitude, and glory.

 

If you’ve ever wondered where you can find the gospel in the Old Testament, today’s passage from Jeremiah 16 is one of many examples. The people of Israel had sinned. Blatantly. Habitually. Through Jeremiah, God begins the gospel message in this passage by confronting his wayward, rebellious people and tells them “every one of you follows his stubborn, evil will, refusing to listen to me” (v 12). This is the New Testament message that Paul preached many years later in Romans 3:23 “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.

 

Having made their guilt clear, God says that he will “doubly repay their iniquity and their sin” (v 18). We must not forget that “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). God is just and judgement for sin will happen. In this case, it is by the Israelites being “hurled out of this land” (v 13), which happens in chapter 39.

 

What is amazing is that in the middle of this chapter, in the middle of confronting sinners with their guilt, God promises grace and restoration (v 14). In fact, the restitution will be so wonderful that it will be even better than when God brought his people out of Egypt! (v15). How can this be? Why would He do this? Because God desires to be in relationship with us and to cleanse and restore us. All of this is His initiative and He is the only one who can do it. Even our repentance, our turning back to him is only through his grace (see Ephesians 2:8,9).

 

The remnant who will be restored like this will surely cry out to God in gratitude and give Him glory, as Jermiah does in verse 19: “O Lord, my strength and my stronghold, my refuge in the day of trouble”. Those who stubbornly persist in their sin will also bring God glory, but it will be through the display of his power and justice in their punishment (v 21).

 

And there it is. The gospel. It begins with God and ends with His glory. He shows the people their guilt, provides grace, and elicits gratitude. And it’s the same today. The good news is available to us in 2022 as well. We are all just as guilty as the Israelites were. God will punish our sin, either in us or in the perfect substitute, His son, Jesus Christ. Either way God will receive glory.

 

Have you agreed with God about your guilt? Have you cried out to him for forgiveness and grace? If not, don’t wait any longer! He longs to restore you so that you can know Him. If you have, then praise him in grateful adoration for his amazing grace!

 

Prayer

 

God of all grace, we acknowledge our guilt before you. We agree that our hearts have turned to idols and we have worshiped and run after other things in our lives instead of you. Your judgement towards us is just. Forgive us Oh Lord. Wash away our guilt by the blood of your son, Jesus. Make us holy so that we might be acceptable in your presence and be free to worship you, just as we were made to do. Thank you making a way for us to return to you! Amen.

 

Duncan Taylor