The Westminster Shorter Catechism definition of God is “God is Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness, and truth.” Because of God’s holiness, God hates sin. Because of God’s justice, God punishes sin. Because of God’s goodness, God shows mercy to those who repent and turn to Him. Because of God’s truthfulness, we can trust that He is sending a Savior to redeem His people as He promised. We see all of these characteristics of God in today’s reading.
God’s judgment for sin – The Israelites were living in total sin and rebellion against the Lord. Therefore, “The Lord has done what He purposed; He has fulfilled His word which He commanded in days of old. He has thrown down and has not pitied, and He has caused an enemy to rejoice over you; He has exalted the horn of your adversaries.”
God’s mercy for repentant sinners – Jeremiah says, “I have become the ridicule of all my people— their taunting song all the day. He has filled me with bitterness, He has made me drink wormwood.” But then Jeremiah remembers the character of the Lord and finds hope – “This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!’ The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. It is good that one should hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord… For the Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies.”
Therefore, Jeremiah says, “Let us search out and examine our ways, and turn back to the Lord; let us lift our hearts and hands to God in heaven. We have transgressed and rebelled; You have not pardoned.”
God’s promise to redeem – The nation of Judah is under great oppression because of their persistent sin. Jeremiah says the way to be restored is to humble yourself, repent of your sin and turn to the Lord. And the same is true today. The way of restoration is by humbly repenting and turning to the Lord, receiving His Son, Jesus Christ, as your Savior.
Tomorrow someone kills the newly appointed governor of Judah. Keep reading. (Lamentations 2:1-4:22)