A big two-letter word: IF
Jeremiah 26: If you refuse to listen to me and live by my teaching….
On one side of the coin Jeremiah tells what’s coming, and it isn’t good. Soon his nation will fall to Babylon and with that fall terrible things will happen. Later on, Babylon itself will be judged. Even as Jeremiah preaches this message the flow of events has begun, bringing it all to pass. On the other side of the coin is God’s hope that Jeremiah’s message will cause people to consider their ways and repent. The message of the Almighty contains the powerful word “if.” What a huge word it is. It indicates a fork in the road; an opportunity to decide. It’s also a word of mercy, hope, and grace. So here we have it all before us. God intends to bring disaster but IF they listen and IF they repent he will, even at this late stage, relent. Frankly, he doesn’t expect it to happen. The Lord says, “You’ve never listened! Why would you start now?” The Lord doesn’t expect things to change, but he offers them a different path. Two thousand years ago the Lord personally came to this world to offer all humans a choice. He didn’t come to condemn, we’re already condemned even as were those people of Jeremiah’s day. Through Jesus we’re offered hope. Once again “if” becomes the operative word. He says: “I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” (John 8:51)
Take Away: The little word “if” becomes a big offer of hope, mercy, and grace when the Lord speaks it.
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