Day 20: Jeremiah 50:17-20
“Israel is a scattered flock that lions have chased away. The first to devour them was the king of Assyria; the last to crush their bones was Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon.”
Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says:
“I will punish the king of Babylon and his land as I punished the king of Assyria. But I will bring Israel back to their own pasture, and they will graze on Carmel and Bashan; their appetite will be satisfied on the hills of Ephraim and Gilead.
In those days, at that time,” declares the Lord, “search will be made for Israel’s guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found, for I will forgive the remnant I spare.
Because we are Christians, we don’t like to think about atoning for sin apart from the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. We have been taught to believe that Jesus is the only one that atones for sin, and that we, by believing in him, can be excused from irresponsible and negligent lives up until the point of confession. Although this idea feels good, it is not true. The fact of the matter is that sin has ripple effects for generations. Even though a person who commits murder may say they are sorry, that confession does not bring back someone from the dead. That murderer must live the rest of their life knowing the truth about the effects of their actions on the world, in a sense atoning for their sin. The same is the case with divorce, abuse, pollution, infidelity, and sexual promiscuity. There are some sins that cannot be erased from the record of the world with the simple words, “I’m sorry.”
This is why God’s promise of restoration throughout the Bible is so remarkable. Here in Jeremiah, God promises:
“In those days and at that time, says the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be sought, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and none shall be found; for I will pardon the remnant that I have spared.”
What God is not saying here is that the effects of sin will be erased. What he is saying is that after atoning for the sins and unfaithfulness of generations, the striving of his people for atonement will cease. Though the kings of the world will be punished and pass away, God will not abandon his people.
I pray to be a part of those people – the righteous few that remain faithful to the covenant with God.
Jonathan Burkey | Worship Pastor