by Michael Gilbert
July 19, 2007
“Behold, the days come,” saith the Lord, “that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch; and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In His days, Judah shall be saved…” (Jer. 23:5-6, KJ21)
God must be a God of love. Why? Because these words of spiritual consolation, comfort and hope were spoken to a crooked and perverse Israelite nation.
God, who is rich in mercy, loved His people enough to send the prophet Jeremiah to preach to them. It takes love to offer help to a people who have (1) turned from the old paths (Jer. 6:16), (2) forsaken God (Jer. 2:13), (3) offered mere lip-service to God (Jer. 7:4, 8-10), and (4) persecuted Jeremiah, the man of God (Jer. 38:6). Men soon separate from those who despise them, but according to our text, God offered salvation to those who hated Him.
The sad thing is, when the “Righteous Branch” finally came into the world, He had to utter these doleful words, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matt. 23:37, KJ21).
In reality, God has lovingly offered stubborn sinners like you and me salvation. We are no better than the Jews of old, for “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). The question is, how are we responding to God’s love (Mk. 16:16; Acts 2:37-38; Heb. 5:8-9)?
Dear friends, if you are not a Christian, what is keeping you from giving yourself to Christ? What could be said to motivate you to obey your Savior? Perhaps Paul’s message would encourage you change your ways. He wrote, “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely will one die for a righteous man, yet perhaps for a good man some would dare to die, But God commendeth His love toward us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:6-8). Now that’s love!
Do you believe in Christ as the resurrected Son of God? Then, why not repent of your sins (Acts 17:30-31), confess your faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10), and be baptized into Christ for the forgiveness of your sins (Mk. 16:16; 1 Pt. 3:21)?