It's a beautiful Saturday morning, and I wanted to finish up Chapter 4 of Jeremiah before going to the funeral of one of my brothers in law father.
Yesterday I covered the devastation that was to occur to the land because of the sin of the people, and drew a comparison to The Tribulation at the end of the age.
Today's verses are 27-31:" This is what the Lord says: 'The whole land will be ruined, thought I will not destroy it completely. Therefore the earth will mourn and the heavens above grow dark, because I have spoken and will not relent. I have decided and will not turn back. At the sound of the horseman and the archers every town takes to flight. Some go into the thickets; some climb up among the rocks. All the towns are deserted; no one lives in them. What are you doing O devastated one? Why dress yourself in scarlet and put on jewels of gold? Why sahde your eyes with paint? You adorn yourself in vain. Your lovers despise you; they seek your life. I hear a cry as of a woman in labor, a groan as of one bearing her first child - the cry of the Daughter of Zion gasping for breath, stretching out her hands and saying, ' Alas! I am fainting; my life is given over to murderers".
God had given his people many chances to repent - his mercy extended to them, but their hearts were so hardened, they brought him to the end of his mercy on them. He had warned them of his coming wrath and judgement, but they paid no attention. God said the whole land would be ruined, but not destroyed completely, which goes back to his promise to Noah, when he gave the sign of the rainbow, which was that he would never again destroy the whole earth and all of mankind.
In verses 29-31, which speak of the final hour before the destruction was to occur, the people were still trying to placate their enemies by alluring them as a harlot does. One would think that they would cry out to God, even at that late hour, but instead - they tried to appease their enemy.
In this day and age, people have become cold and hard towards the Lord, and want to be thier own gods - leading their lives as they see fit. The Lord continues to plead with us, as he did with his people in Jeremiah's time. We need to heed what he says in II Chronicles 7: 14 : "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will heal their land". If this plead of his mercy is snubbed, then we can expect the same judgements as the generations before us suffered.
Again, I refer to the scriptures of the prophecies of the end times. All throughout the Gospels, Jesus spoke about what to look for when the end of the age was approaching. He said that the end times would be like in the days of Noah - people were living without any care or regard of the Lord, they would be carrying on in all kinds of sin, mocking Noah and his family in their preparation for the promise of God, not heeding the warnings that God told Noah to tell them. He gave us specific signs to look for, that would come with more frequency, and more intensity. He tells us in Luke 12: 40: " You must also be ready because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
Are you ready for that? I know I am! I have put my trust in the saving grace of our Lord Jesus, and would plead with you to do the same, before it's too late. Don't let your heart be cold or hard towards the Lord because of something that has hurt you in the past, and has caused you to be angry with God about it. Don't let the ways or the cares of the world keep you from receiving the gift of God's salvation through Jesus. He told us of these things because he loves us so dearly, and wants each of us to be with him for eternity. He says in Matthew 12:30: "He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters. And so I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven". There is no neutral ground with Jesus - you're either for him or against him. The one sin that will not be forgiven, as he says, is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. That is when you make the choice to not follow the Lord. God doesn't send anyone to hell - that's the choice each of us have to make on our own - eternity in heaven, or eternity in hell. Don't make the wrong choice!