It's probably not very nice to say I'm looking forward to Jeremiah being over...but it's true. I know that's terrible! But oh my gosh, it seems so repetitive and not uplifting.
But what I do find encouraging and cool about it though is how in between all the "I will punish you, you nation of so and so" the Lord declares that He will restore everything back in the end. God's holiness and worthiness and give-everything-you-have-to-Him-and-obey-Him-because-He-is-God-ness is no joke but neither is His mercy, His grace, His unfailing love. He is altogether not something to joke around about. He is everything.
What has become blatantly clear while reading through Jeremiah is: God offends the human heart and the human heart offends God.
We are so bent toward sin...lust, idolatry, and selfishness and God's desire to be the center of our lives is offensive to that. We want to define everything for ourselves. I want to be whatever I want to be! I want to make a lot of money, I want to live here or there, I want to be a girl or a boy, I want to worship this golden calf or the Queen of Heaven, etc. But God says, "no, I created you and I define who you are." That's offensive!
And vice versa, it is offensive to God for me to try and define myself for myself when God already created and designed me a specific way.
And we could leave it there and say "well, God and I, we just offend each other, oh well." We live in a culture where the word "offend" is tossed around a lot. Human to human interactions have come down to simply yelling "that offends me!" rather than people sitting down and discussing each other's viewpoints. This lack of communication and consideration for people is a sorry thing. But offending God is a much graver thing. I have to take a step back and realize that to offend little me is not even close to how outrageous it is to offend God, the Creator of the Universe.
The idea that what I do offends God doesn't really start to matter until I realize that offending God is not like offending another person. Not even close. God is so vastly different from us, so much bigger and better, that offending Him has got to be the most humiliating thing there ever was.
To realize that I offend God is to realize that He could and should do whatever He wants. Yes, punish me. Oh God, I deserve it. I deserve it.
"'Yet afterward, I will restore'...declares the Lord"
Hey, the gospel.
I have offended the Lord God Almighty, Creator of the Universe and yet He has died for me and restored me back to my lovely unoffensive self so that I can live with Him forever.
Literally the most important thing.
Jesus turns the most humiliating thing there ever was into the most glorious.
Reading Jeremiah has been a challenge for sure, but nothing that points to Jesus is a waste of time.
Thanks Jeremiah, looking forward to moving on from you, but thanks Jeremiah.