Certainty (Jeremiah 17:14)

Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed;
Save me and I will be saved,
For You are my praise.

Jeremiah 17:14

There is a certainty with God that is not present with anyone or anything else.The verses that precede and follow this one (and this verse, itself) give different scenarios in which this certainty can be relied upon.

Just before this verse, Jeremiah has spoken about people forsaking following after God. There is a great deal of certainty in going after anything other than God. It is certain that whatever alternative we pursue will not fulfill. It is certain that we will crave something more and else the moment we have whatever we are putting in God’s place. Solomon, in Ecclesiastes, rattled off an extensive list of all the things that could be tried as God substitutes and pronounced them vanity and a striving after wind. From my own experience, I can say that those things of the world that try to stand as a substitute for God which I have pursued and sometimes obtained are empty. Every. Single. Time.

By contrast, there is verse 14. Rather than the temporary assuaging of hurts that the world can offer, God heals. Instead of some set of guidelines that I can strive after and maybe fail less at each day and yet still be lost, God saves. God gives the real thing. Whatever God offers as a genuine article, the world has some sort of knock off.

Immediately following this verse, Jeremiah mentions that people are asking where God’s Word is. If God has declared judgment and destruction, they wonder where the judgment and destruction were. Should not God’s declaration happen swiftly? There are folks like this today. They hear that God judges certain things and reason that their life shows no mark of judgment at the moment, so God either does not care or is giving His tacit approval. While it is true that God’s judgments can happen quite suddenly, He is also, as the apostle wrote, longsuffering toward us and not willing that any should perish. God is not slack concerning His promises — neither His promise to judge or His promise to reward and bless — but is forbearing. He endures the continued wickedness of the world because one more soul is worth it to Him; one more person accepting salvation and living eternally in Paradise.

This dismissive attitude toward God’s judgments is pervasive. It was then. It is now. Verse 14 reminds that if God says it will be done then it will be done. Save me and I will be saved. If God says it is going to happen, then it is.

This morning’s takeaway for me is as follows. First, I am reminded that there is nothing else that will satisfy. If God saves me, then I will be saved. If God heals me, then I will be healed. In no other place will I find what I am looking for. Second, what God says is certain. Elsewhere, God mentions that He speaks of the things to come as if they have already happened. He can do that. What He intends to do is what He will do. Last, I must not be dismissive or flippant concerning what God has said. Since the second thing is true, that what God says is what God will do, I need to be mindful that applies to both the bitter and the sweet promises; the judgments and the blessings. If God has promised good, I can bank on that good. If God has promised judgment or discipline, I can bank on that. In either case, I need to act and speak according to the certainty that is God’s Word.

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