“It is your wickedness that will punish you and your desertion of My ways that will convict you. See the evil and taste the bitterness of forsaking the one True God, the Eternal. At the core of the evil is the sad truth that you have forgotten the wonder and terror of who I am” (Jeremiah 2:19 the Voice).
It is your wickedness that will punish you…
It is the consequences of our choices. It is the outcome that can last a lifetime and have devastating effects for future generations. And it is when we purposely divert ourselves away from God’s Word and His ways, that convict us. We do it to ourselves. And yet we continually ask, “Where is God in all this evil?” And God answers, “At the core of the evil is the sad truth that you have forgotten…Me.”
God gives us free will. Free reign to choose our ways: His or ours. But He also lets us know that following our own ways have lasting consequences. It’s not God’s punishment, but our own. It is the reason God made “His way” in the first place, because it was the good and perfect way; a way to set us apart; a way to declare that we belonged to the Creator of everything!
“Is there anyone to blame but yourself? Weren’t you the one who abandoned the Eternal? Your True God, even as He led you onto this journey?” God asks (Jeremiah 2:17).
Is it any wonder our world has turned upside down and we witness the demise of America: “I am the One who delivered you into this land of abundance to enjoy its fruits and many good things. But you have now taken the very land I gave you and defiled it. You have done a most disgusting thing with this gift I reserved only for you. The rulers also have moved against Me” (Jeremiah 2:7, 8b).
We have defiled this land. We have forgotten the one True God. We haven’t just rejected or simply abandoned Him, we have cursed Him, mocked Him, and called Him a liar. We have called Him evil and we call evil good. We have “exchanged our glory to pursue worthless idols in our vein attempt for greater prosperity” (Jeremiah 2:11b).
Is there anyone else to blame? What have we exchanged our glory for?
No, these are not encouraging words, nor are they hopeful. Not yet. But God never lets us stay in our own mess for too long. “We know our God is the God who delivers us” (Psalm 68:20a). Our only hope is to keep crying out to God for help and restoration. He can help and restore…and He will. That’s His Word. That’s His promise.
Like a cactus with a beautiful blooming flower, there is hope in the thick of thorns.