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Echo Evangelique

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Saturday 9:00-10:00PM
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Thursday 8:00-9:00PM

 

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The Depravity of Judah and Justification of Judgement

Part III

Text: Jeremiah 5:14-24

Key Concepts:

  • God proclaims His judgment on Judah
  • God’s judgment will always come to those who are unrepentant
  • What are the symptoms of impenitence?

 

The narrative of the book of Jeremiah makes it evident that stubbornness and rebellion characterize the hearts of mankind. Consequently, mankind would rather not believe in nor live for God. It is equally obvious that God’s judgment is severe, even against His own people. He doesn’t hesitate to pour His wrath on His own hardened children when they choose to ignore His warnings. The people of Judah were infected by impenitence, a disease worse than sin.  While there is a cure for sin, impenitence is incurable. It is lethal. In truth “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23, ESV). Jesus gave Himself up to be “the propitiation for our sins” (1 Jn 2:2 ESV). His blood, poured out on the Cross, became our remedy for sin. When we believe in Jesus’s incarnation, virgin birth, death and resurrection, we are then redeemed by His blood. Sadly though, we maintain our capability to sin against God. In fact, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn 1:8, NKJV). Sin is destructive and altogether dreadful. But, living in denial of sin while sinning, is a fatal thing. For impenitence hardens the heart and makes it impossible to feel sorrow over sin or to accept the cure for sin. And sin kills physically, morally, emotionally and spiritually. Impenitence makes us indifferent to the things of God until sin kills us.  Repentance and confession are the only effective treatments for sin. 

God proclaims His judgment on Judah 

The people discredited and demeaned the prophets (Jer. 5:12-13). They rejected their message and attacked the messengers. Their disgraceful behavior incited the anger of God. “Therefore thus says the Lord God of hosts: “Because you speak this word, Behold, I will make My words in your mouth fire, and this people wood, and it shall devour them”’ (Jer.5:14, NKJV). In judgment against Judah, God promised to make the words of the prophet that the people rejected into a fire. A fire that would consume the nation in condemnation. As a consequence of being under God’s judgment, Israel had a tragic future to look forward to. “’Behold, I will bring a nation against you from afar, O house of Israel,” says the Lord…”’ (Jer. 5:15-17, NKJV). The promise of God’s vengeance against the impenitent is a guarantee. God used His enemies to chastise His brazen people. These enemies were not gentle men but ferocious destroyers. These destroyers would speak a different language which would allow Judah no negotiations with the invaders. They were God’s agents of judgment. Judah had no escape. Their only refuge was God, but He would not shield them since His purpose was to chasten them. Indeed “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31, NASB).

God’s judgment will always come to those who are unrepentant

We can rejoice in the mercy of God, who in the business of sparing undeserving sinners. Because of God’s mercy, there will be a remnant. “’I will not make a complete end of you”’ (Jer. 5:18, NKJV). God was willing to give His unruly children the opportunity to repent. The prophet Habakkuk cried out for God’s mercy when Israel was under judgment back in his time. ‘” O Lord, I have heard Your speech and was afraid; In wrath remember mercy’” (Hab. 3:2, NKJV). Indeed knowing God is merciful strengthens us when we face life’s challenges. Brethren, as we study the book of Jeremiah, we must take the opportunity God has granted us to examine our lives and fix what needs fixing. Why would you want to wait until your sin graduated to impenitence? Do you doubt that God will judge you as well as He did Judah? When you ignore the sin in your life does it go away? Or does it fester like an infection? God will not allow His children to live in disobedience forever. Sooner or later, He will call you into account.

What are the symptoms of impenitence?

The people’s predicament was a bitter one because of their rebellion. They committed idolatry, adultery. They slandered and murdered the prophets. They turned against God and still they questioned “‘Why does the Lord our God do all these things to us?’” (Jer. 5:19, NKJV). They could not understand the reason for their judgment because they could not longer understand the weight of their sins, their shame and failure. The first symptom of the disease that is impenitence is the inability to admit to one’s sins. The people were blind to their own condition. They denied their sin.  Their asking ‘why’ seems to also bear the implication of blame towards God. For, if they were innocent of guilt, then God was guilty of unfairness. In answer, God tells them “‘Just as you have forsaken Me and served foreign gods in your land, so you shall serve aliens in a land that is not yours’” (Jer. 5:19, NKJV). Ironically, God delivered their humiliation through the foreign gods they had forsaken God for. “‘Hear this now, O foolish people, without understanding, who have eyes and see not, and who have ears and hear not”’ (Jer. 5:21, NKJV). The Bible distinguishes between the fool – rejects biblical instructions and the wise – experiences and demonstrates the fear of God. The impenitent, like the idols they worship, is then foolish, blind, deaf and lacks understanding and discernment (Ps. 115:1-8).

In conclusion…

There is no cure for impenitence, unlike sin. However, repentance will grant you God’s forgiveness and restoration through the blood of Christ (1 Jn. 1:9).  “’ Do you not fear Me?’ says the Lord.
‘Will you not tremble at My presence’” (Jer. 5:22, NKJV). Impenitence causes the heart to shed its fear of God almighty who controls everything.  ‘’But this people have a defiant and rebellious heart; they have revolted and departed”’ (Jer. 5:23, NKJV). The people were bold in their disobedience. For impenitence robs us of the ability to self-examine, to make personal resolutions for God, to make decisions about walking in faith. “They do not say in their heart, “Let us now fear the Lord our God, who gives rain, both the former and the latter, in its season. He reserves for us the appointed weeks of the harvest’” (Jer. 5:22, NKJV). Ingratitude is another characteristic of impenitence. The impenitent forgets God’s blessings. Do you have these symptoms of impenitence? If have begun to experience them, before your heart is completely hardened; reach for the cure. ‘“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion’” (Heb. 3:15, ESV). What is the condition of your heart?

 

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