Day 10

The Lord’s Response

from the Lent 2020: His Love Endures reading plan


Jeremiah 12:1-17, Hosea 11:1-9, Matthew 15:1-9

BY Erin Davis

Jeremiah is not the first prophet (nor the last) to grow weary with the wayward. Can’t you just picture his hunched shoulders and deep sighs as he asked, “Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all the treacherous live at ease?” (Jeremiah 12:1).

Like the psalmist who confessed that they envied the prosperity of the wicked (Psalm 73:3), Job whose pain convinced him that the righteous were the butt of every joke (Job 12:1–6), and Jonah, who despaired when the Ninevites received mercy, not wrath (Jonah 4:1–4)— the Bible records a long list of people of faith who had lost faith in humanity.

As I read their words, I’m waylaid by the realization that my own heart wants to default to that same setting. It’s so easy to shake my head and wag my finger, to lump mankind into the categories of “us” and “them,” and wonder why those “on the other side” are having all the fun. And yet, we never find God joining the pity parties of the righteous. While His judgments are clear and His righteousness does not bend, He relentlessly chases the lost. In response to Jeremiah’s despondency, God says, “After I have uprooted them, I will once again have compassion on them and return each one to his inheritance and to his land” (Jeremiah 12:15).

Right here, in the middle of an Old Testament book, we find the message of the gospel, the needed balm for every cynical soul. Jeremiah had forgotten, as we all tend to do, that when compared to God, no one is righteous, not one (Romans 3:10–12)—not even weeping prophets. We deserve death, not mercy. Our pity parties end when we remember we’re all trophies of God’s grace freely given to us. Every single one of us.

In Hosea’s prophetic book, it was the Lord’s turn for deep sighs as He lamented, “My people are bent on turning from me” (Hosea 11:7). The reality of our sin nature is as evident in us today as it ever was then, and yet, this is how our God responds:

“I will not vent the full fury of my anger;
I will not turn back to destroy Ephraim.
For I am God and not man,
The Holy One among you;
I will not come in rage” (Hosea 11:9).

When it looks like the lost have something we are lacking, may the gospel remind us that we have been given grace over and over again. We have Christ. In Him, we have everything.

Post Comments (71)

71 thoughts on "The Lord’s Response"

  1. ADB says:

    Praying for you Taylor!

  2. Candy B says:

    “I led them with human cords, with ropes of love. To them I was like one who eases the yoke from their jaws; I bent down to give them food.” Hosea 11:4
    I am to be one of God’s human cords, using the gifts talents and resources He has given me as ropes of love – to free others, not to bind.

    1. Nancy Singleton says:

      Beautiful!

  3. Cathe says:

    Taylor, I would love to pray with you on this. Everything you have said about God is true and I believe you will break though this stronghold. I have been fasting through lunch this week and using that time to pray about some untidiness in my life. God is good and He will come through for You at the right time, His time.

    1. Camille English Davis says:

      Thank you for this response, Cathe! Before I read your post, I was pondering how to handle a situation. My spirit quickened inside of me as I read your post. I know what to do next.

  4. Renee Harvey says:

    I’ve never read God’s word and truly felt the words until today. God’s lament in Hosea as he cried out to His people broke my heart. He truly loves us and everything he does is to bring us back to him. Every loving correction, every moment that feels like he “missed it,” he’s right there calling us back.

  5. Taylor says:

    Hi ladies! Asking for prayer today. I feel so tangled in this one sin I just can’t seem to shake. I’ve been praying about it for so long, but any chance the temptation arises I fall. I feel trapped in this cycle of falling and repenting, wanting to get better and leaning into the Word, then falling again. I know I’m not strong enough to overcome this on my own and with God NOTHING is impossible. I just feel defeated today that I may never break this chain. I need to put my confidence and trust in the Chain Breaker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness! This study has been so good for me, and I am so thankful for this community that I know will surround me in prayer and go to the cross with me about this. Thank you ladies and have a wonderful day!

    1. Allison Bentley says:

      Worth listening to. https://youtu.be/8qmpcBUjOVA

    2. Katie Martinez says:

      Taylor, I will be praying for you and the many people with similar feelings. I know this struggle. Sometimes I wish the healing would come instantly, but what I have come to learn, by the Grace of God, it requires us to daily put the desires of the flesh, down at the feet of Jesus. God knows our heart. God wants all of us. The good and the bad. He just calls us to lay it down, to acknowledge our sin to Him, and by his power and glory to transform us into His image. Continue to turn to Him, continue to lay down your struggles. You are doing well friend. God is at work in your life and like a potter forms his clay, He is shaping you through everything. God is good, and He is faithful. Trust in His goodness and steadfast faithfulness.

    3. Kayla Shelby says:

      I don’t know what you’re struggling with, but I’ve been in the same position of falling to the same temptation over and over. Can I encourage you to share your struggle with someone if you haven’t already? I kept mine bottled up for SO long, so ashamed of my sin and afraid of what people would think of me. Once I finally got to my breaking point and shared what was going on with a close and trusted friend, chains begin to break and I felt SO much relief. I still face the same temptation frequently but resisting is so much easier now that I have accountability and prayers being said on my behalf.

    4. Monica Hailey says:

      Praying now, Taylor!

    5. Alissa Jenkins says:

      Praying for you!

    6. Amelia Mack says:

      Praying for you right now Taylor

  6. Sara Terry says:

    Lord, only you know the heart of people . You can and do change hearts . You are compassionate even to the Gentiles , to those viewed as “other”, because to You and Your wonderful plan we are all Your children . I’ll be honest , a few of Your children sure annoy me ! The self -righteousness , the judgement , the need to be needed by others … these are all traits in others that I struggle with , but You are reminding me to look in the mirror . Sin is sin and we are all sinners . Only You know the heart , and I pray You change my heart and those of my family members and towards You always . Please help us to accept Your grace so that we have it to give to others. As promised , You are our God and we are your people . Amen

  7. Catherine Surratt says:

    Endless compassion. Undeserving mercy and grace.

  8. Alexis says:

    God help us to align our lips and our hearts back to truth…back to you. We are nothing but a loud noise if we judge and assume and complain about others faults and inadequacy and fail to remember our own faults and inadequacy. Which you take on with tough but unconditional love and not just show us our faults and inadequacy but then you guide us by your grace to a better way. May we do the same with those we interact with daily. Amen.

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