Day 36

The People’s Stubborn Response

from the Lent 2020: His Love Endures reading plan


Jeremiah 44:1-30, Jeremiah 45:1-5, Psalm 79:1-13, Isaiah 5:5-7

BY Erin Davis

It is part of my parenting philosophy to never ask this question: “Why?”

When my toddler draws all over the wall with a Sharpie…
When my pre-teen opts to stuff all of his dirty laundry under his bed instead of in the hamper nearby…
When my kindergartener bursts into sudden tears because he can’t find the green crayon…

I’ve found that asking, “Why?” is more often than not met with bewildered stares, rather than deep, philosophical answers. And yet, in Jeremiah 44, when the Isrealites countered the news of God’s imminent judgment by digging in their heels, God, our loving Father, looked at His children and lovingly asked, “Why?”

“Why do you commit this great evil against yourselves?…
Why do you provoke me to anger with the works of your hands” (vv.7–8, ESV).

Our all-knowing, all-powerful God knew the answer, of course. But like all parents who struggle to fathom why their child would make a choice that leads to destruction, God voices His exasperation over His children’s persistent rebellion. The Isrealites in Jeremiah’s time were no different from us. Since the garden of Eden, all of humanity has been grossly warped by sin. Our very cells are broken; we run in glad rebellion away from the things of God. Like the apostle Paul, we are left to wonder, Why can’t I live the life Christ has called me to live? (Romans 7:15–20).

When our questions lead to discouraging answers, and we face the fact that the destruction we read about in Jeremiah is a picture of the punishment we deserve, Scripture invites us to ask a better question. Not why, but who. Who can save us from our sin and spare us from the punishment we deserve?

Jesus! Our righteous Savior, who took the punishment we earned, so that we might be spared the righteous judgment of the Father. When the weight of our sin feels crushing and the reality of our rebellion overwhelms us, we don’t need to bother with asking, “Why?” Instead, we can rest in the hope found in asking, “Who?”

“Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies” (Romans 8:33). Jesus alone is the answer, and nothing can separate us from His love (v.34,38).

Post Comments (52)

52 thoughts on "The People’s Stubborn Response"

  1. Angie says:

    The why and what ifs don’t always add up.
    They leave me insecure and vulnerable.
    The Who is unchanging, all-powerful, secure, and dependable.
    The Who; my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
    Not just the Sunday School answer, the One and only answer to every thing.

  2. Jenna says:

    Lord God,

    You are holy and just. You are right in your judgments against sinful man. Lord, forgive me for the ways that I have sinned against you and chosen the things of this world over you. I pray that in this season of Lent that we would repent and turn back to you. Blot out our sins and give us seasons of refreshing from your presence. Help us to hold fast to you until Jesus returns to restore all things.

    In Jesus’ name,

    Amen

    1. Holly MelynnEllis says:

      Amen!!

  3. Mari V says:

    NOTHING will separate me from HIS love. NOTHING. I’m the one that needs to make sure that I continue walking with HIM. Life has thrown many curveballs at me but I keep my eyes on my Jesus who has never, never let me down. All the glory be to God! Today is my sons 19th birthday. I’m so thankful God chose me to be his mother. That boy has a good heart! He can drive me crazy at times but I know one thing. He loves Jesus. And that’s all that matters to this mom.

  4. May says:

    Why were they so stubborn? What are areas of my life where I so boldly tell God no to his face as they did?

    “But as for you, do you pursue great things for yourself? Stop pursuing! For I am about to bring disaster on everyone”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“but I will grant you your life like the spoils of war wherever you go.”

    Before March 13, this was me. I was pursuing ways to improve myself, to get a promotion, to find fulfillment, to get “me time”, to seek for . . me, me, me. Now in this time of renewal, I see the idolatry I have committed in worship of self. Lord forgive me, forgive us. Heal and restore our land.

    1. Kelly Broughton says:

      Amen!

  5. Sojourner says:

    Thank God for His loving intervention when He sends His prophets to warn Judah of their idolatry and give them a chance to turn from their sin and turn to God. It teaches me to be open to listen to the interruptions either through reading His word, counsel from friend etc.

    Reading this has also made me realise I have a false sense of security in false idols who promise me success and happiness instead of depending on God for true blessing that may or may not come in the form of material blessing. 

    Father I thank you for revealing my idols in my heart and where I have misplaced my sense of security and trust. Like Judah I’ve also put my trust and worshipped other idols in my heart, thinking that they will bring me happiness but instead they are all false gods who promise destruction and death. Turn my eyes away from worthless things and turn my eyes to see that You are the only life-giving God who gives true salvation and joy in life. 

  6. Maura says:

    Thankful that God is not ok with Judah or us. praising man made idols or god’s. He wants us to trust Him alone.Lord please help my heart to be only yours, you are the only one worthy of our praise. Jesus may the world that so needs you have eyes to see you and hearts that open to your Amazing glorious grace. Joy and love Sisters. He is on the throne loving us.

  7. Crystal Whitlock says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! It blesses my heart to think about how my praise during this time is a pleasing sacrifice to Him. Yes, it feels costly, but it glorifies Him and enables me to focus on Who He is, and His power in all circumstances. ❤️

  8. Ann Toper says:

    All I can say is Thank You JESUS!!

    1. Kelly Broughton says:

      Amen!

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