"God’s raging anger won’t let up Until he’s made a clean sweep completing the job he began. When the job’s done you’ll see it’s been well done." (Jeremiah 30:24 MSG)
Hold up... That's not the kind of verse I normally put at the start of a devotional, now is it? Nope, not so much. However, this is because I was recently asked a question that brought me great revelation and an even deeper appreciation and awe of the true freedom and hope we have in Jesus Christ.
The question? How to explain verses like Jeremiah 30:24. How do we know for sure that we're forgiven, saved from death, and rescued from the punishment that all of our old messiness and shameful deeds would've brought on us?
I can recall that I would formerly have tried to rely on my own understanding to explain such things. But this time, my very firmly anchored soul did not jump to clutch whatever it could find to make me sound wise or like I have it all figured out. Let's face it: we're humans we do not know it all. Right there as perplexed thoughts echoed the walls of my heart, i quieted my soul and very expectantly, confidently, yet humbly asked the Lord, "God, how do You explain?"
It's okay to ask God questions. After all, we as little children have such a minute understanding in contrast to the ever-unfolding glorious mystery of God. As His disciples, we want to know more of Him and His heart, so He welcomes our awestruck inquiries. He awaits our inquiring of His courts...
"One thing I have desired of the LORD, That will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD All the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the LORD, And to inquire in His temple." (Psalms 27:4)
We're ingrained to inquire Him. It's our searching souls that shall ultimately lead us back to His Holy Heart.
Sometimes we become so confused and we wander so far, that we find ourselves in dire need of a comforting and consoling that cannot be fulfilled by what humans offer. The only explanation is that we're wired to want, but the One whom we're honestly wanting is Him... Him alone.
We're made to come to our Lord when we're full of joy and gratitude, so that we can pour out the overflowing abundance of our thanksgiving on Him as an act of worship. In glad times, we give Him praise.
However, we also ache for something more when times of hurt and distress come crashing on the shores of our souls... Wearing and tearing on our hearts... We were made to run into His arms for peace and restoration when we're broken. And when we feel lost and stranded? When the road ahead is clouded with confusion and we don't know what steps to take? He will lead us into a promise of hope. In trying times, give Him your pain, and He shall guide you to healing.
But what about those Old Testament verses?
"You have also given me the necks of my enemies, So that I destroyed those who hated me. They cried out, but there was none to save; Even to the LORD, but He did not answer them. Then I beat them as fine as the dust before the wind; I cast them out like dirt in the streets." (Psalms 18:40-42)
Definitely not a verse you'd hang on the wall. Did you know that the word testament means covenant? So, then, we might say the Bible is comprised of God's Old Covenant and His New Covenant.
In the times of His Old Covenant, there was no Saviour, no Messiah, no propitiation for the massive mess of our unrighteousness. And the glaringly evident dilemma? God cannot have fellowship with that which is defiled, unrighteous, and stained with iniquity.
"But your iniquities have built barriers between you and your God, and your sins have made Him hide His face from you so that He does not listen." (Isaiah 59:2)
What does this mean for us? It highlights our desperation for the wondrous plan He had from the beginning: redemption. A New Covenant to bring God's creation back to His Heart - where we were originally made to dwell and have fellowship with Him.
"But He, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, And did not destroy them. Yes, many a time He turned His anger away, And did not stir up all His wrath" (Psalms 78:38)
Then as the silence inside my soul breeched a slicing severity... He answered my pining...
"With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death... The law always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin instead of a deep healing of it. And now what the law code asked for but we couldn’t deliver is accomplished as we, instead of redoubling our own efforts, simply embrace what the Spirit is doing in us." (Romans 8:1-2, 3-4 MSG)
Freedom. Forgiveness. This gift so pure and radiant... How marvellous... This never-before-seen grace which bled so beautifully on that Cross... This is our redemption song. Oh Hallelujah! Thank You Jesus! Thank You for being our Atoning Sacrifice!
"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32)
Jesus... Jesus... Jesus.. There's power in Your Name, Jesus. There's forgiveness in the richness of Your blood. There's freedom in Your favour, favour that drove nails through Your wrists. Now we're made righteous... We're reconciled to Your high-standard, God. We now wear the cloak of Christ's offering. His mighty majesty none can surpass, and this is the King who calls us His very own beloved, chosen children.
This New Covenant promise in Christ, this costly freedom? He paid our price. That wrath so fiery it burned, but Christ our Lord, for us was scorned. God's anger and indignation on the Son, as He breathed His last... "Victory is won..." And now we see it, God's plan well done...
"...When the job’s done you’ll see it’s been well done." (Jeremiah 30:24 MSG; emphasis mine)
-The Introverted Evangelist