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Jeremiah 23:21-25:38

As I read today’s text a passage from 1st Peter is brought to my remembrance,

For the time has come for judgment to begin with God's household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God? And if the righteous is saved with difficulty, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?
(1 Peter 4:17-18 HCSB)

God always judges His people first, and then He goes to the nations. We have been rocked by church scandal these past decades. Believers are either angry or embarrassed when things are exposed. But the scandal can be seen as a good thing, God is cleaning out His church and changing the dirty diapers of His people. Then after the church is cleansed, the nations, the people who are not his people, those who have rejected God are dealt with. We have nothing to fear if we are keeping attuned to the voice of the Lord. As long as we not only listen but actually hear what Thus Saith the Lord, we will come through stirred, but not shaken. The remnant God designated to survive the shaking out, as Mike has discussed in his comments about the good and bad figs, may not fit our understanding of what we judge to be good or evil, but our understanding is flawed if not inline with what God has decreed.

I find Mike’s explanation of God’s cup of anger very interesting and I see the judgment of God in a different light and not at odds with His Character, Mercy and Grace.

Who can endure the day of his coming? Who can keep standing when he appears? For he will be like a refiner's fire, like a launderer's soap. (Malachi 3:2 NET.)

We have read in our earlier readings that when man came face to face with God, He/She was always fearful that they would not live and were surprised when they did, why? Sin cannot stand in the presence of God, just like dirt cannot stand in the presence of a good through cleaning with soap. By its very nature, dirt has to “flee” when soap shows up and is applied. When we stubbornly rebel holding on to our sin, when God shows up the sin we so tenaciously hold onto will be washed away in the rinse. If we are clinging to that sin, we will go down the drain with it.

The judgment we see in the scriptures only come about because man is stubbornly clinging to sin which leads to death. He/She refuses to separate from that which is destined to go down the drain.

Grace and peace,

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