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. Molly M says:

    The verse talking about how God will continually have compassion for us spoke volumes to me tonight. This is truly the greatest gift and I’m so thankful for you Lord.

  2. Lisa Misenhimer says:

    You are near in their mouths but far from their hearts… Lord help me draw close to you in my heart, not to please others or act a certain way but to love and trust you fully. You are my God and my loving Father.

  3. Elizabeth Aouad says:

    Be holy as I am holy.. without holiness no one will see the LORD.. these words have been echoing in my heart lately .. so I did a word search on holiness in my Bible and then looked up the meaning of holiness. It is to be set apart, to be used for God’s purposes. To be that new creation in Christ, to live in the Spirit and not the flesh. To not follow the world but to follow our LORD. God is calling us to Himself, to His way. These verses remind us that God is not like man and we can make the choice, also.. to be less of self and more of Him. I love this study. Thank you .

  4. Christina Leal says:

    4I led them with cords of kindness,
    with the bands of love,
    and I became to them as one who eases the yoke on their jaws,
    and I bent down to them and fed them.

    3Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk;
    I took them up by their arms,
    but they did not know that I healed them.

    This really stuck out to me as a reminder that God is always doing so much more for us and in us than we can see or know. His careful attention to us and His gentle work in our lives is amazing.

  5. Kate Nunn says:

    It’s good to know his grace is so much deeper than my sin. God I put me first way too much. Help me get out of my own way and find you.

  6. Kelly says:

    Kat your prayer was so beautiful! I saved it in hope to pray it daily. Thank you so much for sharing!

  7. Hilary Voigt says:

    Lord keep reminding me of the Gospel. Keep bringing it to my mind. Let me never forget it. Let me never become numb to it. Let me experience and understand it fully. Let it be balm for this cynical soul.

  8. Kat Cowell says:

    Hi ladies! I’ve been reading SRT study plans for years but am often doing them out of order and so usually just read the beautiful comments of others years later. They still bless and encourage me incredibly! But I’m so glad to be doing this Lent study in Jeremiah with you all, in real time (even if I’m a few days behind!) This reading really brought the Lord’s unending compassion and mercy before my eyes in a new way, especially when I think of how quickly I run out of grace and mercy for others. This is a prayer I wrote and prayed in response. I hope it might encourage someone today.

    Lord, I marvel at the depths of your compassion. The vast storehouses of your grace are unfathomable. Oh how I long to know the full riches of your mercy, the height and depth and length and breadth of your love, and to somehow have even a fraction of that in my own heart. My compassion runs out so quickly. My love dries up. My stores of grace grow empty, even though I’ve been shown such abundant grace. Please Lord, fill me up with what I cannot produce myself. Help me to live beyond myself each day, in the power of your Spirit, reaching into the depths of your love to cover what I lack on my own. Grow in me your heart, O Lord. A heart that relentlessly chases the lost. A heart that longs to see other hearts changed and cleansed and turned back to you. Thank you for your never-ending compassion, your new mercies every morning, your amazing, abundant grace shown to me through Christ. May he receive all the glory and praise. Amen.

    1. Laura Giguere says:

      Beautiful prayer, thank you❤️

      1. Holly Strickland says:

        ❤️

    2. Andrea P says:

      ❤️

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