Gleanings From a Burnt Field: Long-suffering

Hello again!

One of the books I am reading these days is Jeremiah. I have never really liked Jeremiah, if I can say that about a divinely inspired book. It has always seemed to be so much judgment and disaster, and so little hope.

Upon reading it this time however, it seems as though I have been going through it with my eyes closed in the past, for me to have formed such an incorrect opinion. I mean, of course Jeremiah has a lot of judgment it, and a look at the context makes it easy to see why- but all of that darkness just highlights the hope that God gives in this amazing book!

So because of all that, I think I’ll start blogging my way through Jeremiah, as insights occur.  I’m halfway through the book already, so it’s a little late. That’s OK, though.

One thing that amazes me in Jeremiah is that God is so patient and long-suffering. He sends prophet after prophet to warn Israel and Judah- and even his prophecies of impending judgment last for decades (cf. Jeremiah 25:3-7)! This is amazing, particularly when I contemplate how grave Israel and Judah’s sin against the holiness of God was. After all, they were his people, and he was their God! He says toward the beginning of the book that Israel is unique among the nations, for even though their gods are lifeless, they do not forsake them, yet Israel casts off the true God to commit idolatry with pagan deities. They do it again and again, and God’s wrath is kindled, yet he calls to them lovingly. He sends prophet after prophet to warn them, and they just kill the prophets!

Then I think about my own life. I have been bought by Christ, and am now indwelt by his Holy Spirit. I have the completed canon and thousands of years of church witness and history, and yet I do the same thing! How patient God is with me, and how often I sin against him! He is truly a God who stoops.


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