Our Powerful Redeemer.
“But the one who redeems them is strong. His name is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. He will defend them and give them rest again in Israel. But for the people of Babylon there will be no rest!” – Jeremiah 50:34 NLT
Our God is complex. He is multifaceted and difficult to comprehend. His ways are not our ways and with our limited human perspectives, we sometimes find it hard to comprehend not only who God is, but what He is doing in the world and in our lives. The book of Jeremiah paints God as a God of judgment, bringing disaster on His own people for their sin and rebellion against Him. He uses pagan nations to destroy them and taken them into captivity. He allows His own Temple to be destroyed in the process and the Land of Promise to be decimated. The nations who bring about this destruction are actually referred to as God’s instruments. He uses them to bring about His will – to discipline the nations of Israel and Judah. But then God turns around and threatens to bring destruction on these very same nations for having taken advantage of His people. He predicts that their day of destruction is coming because of what they did to Israel and Judah. He will destroy them. The same God who used them will now abuse them. That’s hard for us to understand. We struggle with the seeming contradiction of it all. From our limited perspective, it can appear unfair and manipulative. But we have to constantly remind ourselves that God is holy, righteous, and just. He always does what is right. His actions are never wrong or out of step with His holy character – even though they may appear to be to us.
When we read that God is going to seek vengeance on Babylon for destroying His holy Temple, an act He allowed them to do, we must trust that God knows what He is doing. As His creation, we are not in a place to judge Him or question the rightness of His actions. God stands above ever nation and every individual. He is transcendent – set apart. We cannot compare Him to us or judge His actions on some human scale. God is free to do what He does because He is God, and what He does is always righteous and just. We may not see it now, but we will in the end. We may not understand the suffering and strife that is taking place all around us in this world. We may be tempted to doubt the love of God and to question His integrity. But we have to remember that God is beyond our comprehension. Yes, He allows and invites us to know Him, but because He is eternal, He is also unfathomable. We can no more fully know and understand God and His ways than we can map out the farthest reaches of the universe. The more we learn, the more we understand how little we know.
God is great. He is massive. He is complex. He is powerful beyond our comprehension. But that same great, massive, complex, powerful God is our redeemer. The same God who brought destruction on Israel and Judah was going to redeem and restore them. The same power He used to punish them would punish their enemies and bless them. Our great God is going to do a great work of redemption in the world. There is a day coming when He will set all things right and complete His plan for mankind and the earth. Earlier in the book of Jeremiah, God told the prophet to go to the potter’s house and watch him work. Here is what Jeremiah saw and what God said”
So I did as he told me and found the potter working at his wheel. But the jar he was making did not turn out as he had hoped, so he crushed it into a lump of clay again and started over. Then the Lord gave me this message: “O Israel, can I not do to you as this potter has done to his clay? As the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in my hand.” – Jeremiah 18:3-6 NLT
We are like clay in God’s hands. He is molding and making us. He is shaping and forming us. He can do with us as He sees fit, but we have to remember that in the end, God is out to redeem and restore us. Isaiah understood this when he said, “And yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand” (Isaiah 64:8 NLT). God is forming us. God is redeeming us. God is not done with us. And we can trust Him.
Father, I want to trust You more. I do not fully understand what You are doing in my life, but I know You have my best interests at heart. You know what You are doing. Help me to trust in Your righteousness and justice. You never do anything wrong or for the wrong reason. I can trust You even when I don’t fully understand You, because You are my redeemer and Lord. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men