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. Nancy Singleton says:

    Your analogy with motherhood is spot on JD. And God’s love far exceeds what we can feel in our limited humanity. He will never leave or forsake us!!

  2. Michelle says:

    God is a just God, and knows our hearts. At this point in Israel/Judah’s history, they had turned so far from God that He allowed them to have what they wanted, which was contrary to His commands. This resulted in dire consequences. We see in Jer. 12:7 that God is brokenhearted for His people. In addition to being just, God is also merciful and gracious, which we read in 12:15, calling His people back not because they deserve it, but because He loves them.

    1. Jennie P says:

      Amen!

  3. Evelyn Immitt says:

    I have the same question, Katie!

  4. Maura says:

    Praying for you Taylor, for His strength and focus and freedom. Our God is victorious declaring His victory for you in Jesus name. I am always amazed at God’s word. Today the uprooting and God turning from His anger just fills my heart with praise. Lord please uproot me from anything that does not bring you glory and help me to be humble of heart and filled with your grace. Give me a vision for your heart and Love for all those you place in my path today that I would meet them Jesus and not judgement. I praise you God for all the women of faith here and that you have continually encouraged and blessed me with. I love you my Abundant God.

  5. Courtney says:

    I just prayed for you, Taylor. May God grant you His grace, mercy, wisdom, and strength in this challenging spiritual journey. And may you be drawn closer to our Lord, Jesus Christ in the process.

  6. Mari V says:

    Yep, I admit I have been one to ask why does it appear that the wicked prosper. Why does it seem like they’ve got it all together.
    I’m so thankful for this reminder. I have been given grace. I have Jesus in my heart. He is enough! I have everything I need. It’s through the hard times of trials and of the unknown that I have drawn me closer to Jesus and I DO NOT want to go back!

  7. Amy E says:

    These verses are showing me how pointless it is to pursue anything aside from God. Why do I try to fill my heart with anything except for the One who created it?

  8. Katie Ferrigno says:

    I feel like the last week of readings have contradicted each other. The word says God is angry, berating his people and their wicked ways and that he will destroy them and not help them when they call for him. Yet this take ends with God saying I will not come in anger. Am I misunderstanding the readings?

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