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August 12 Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 39-41
“Because Ye have Sinned Against the Lord”
What volumes are spoken by these few words! — “Because ye have sinned against the Lord!” May God the Holy Spirit give us grace to hear them.
Nebuchadrezzar and the Babylonians took Zedekiah and Judah into captivity; the city of Jerusalem was burned to the ground; and the temple of God was destroyed because the people, the kings, the priests, and the prophets of Israel and Judah sinned against the Lord.
What evil sin has wrought in God’s creation! It was sin that plunged our race into death and drove our fallen parents from the Garden of God. It was sin that caused the destruction of the old world by a flood. It was sin that caused the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah by fire. It is sin that causes all sickness and death, and ultimately destroys fallen man, because all have sinned.
There is an indescribably greater display of the effects of sin than the everlasting destruction of rebellious men and angels in hell. — Behold the crucified Son of God! When he who knows no sin became sin and a curse for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, God poured out at once upon him all the fury of his infinite wrath and justice! Our dear Savior’s death as our Substitute, when he was made sin for us, dying the just for the unjust that he might bring us to God, reveals more about the horrid evil of sin than the overthrow and everlasting destruction of all the damned in hell.
Pause, my soul, to give consideration to these things. Behold God’s judgments against sin going on throughout the earth! Look at the effects of sin in the sorrows, and wars, and miseries of mankind! When these very solemn things are felt in my heart, let me look to Christ, the only Refuge and Consolation for my own sinful soul. Oh! for grace to know him, who by death has destroyed him that had the power of death, and delivered them who through fear of death are all their life time subject to bondage!
Learn from these chapters of Jeremiah that Divine judgment never produces a gracious change in fallen man. No change is ever made in man, except grace makes the change. After Zedekiah was taken captive, after his sons and all his nobles were slain, and his eyes were put out by the king of Babylon, still rebellion sprung up among the residue of the people. Should the damned in hell be released and allowed to return to the earth, they would remain the same. The sin and malignity of their nature would remain unchanged. Except the Lord Jesus give man a new nature by regeneration of the Spirit, none will ever change. Without that new birth, none can ever see and enter into the kingdom of God.
Reading in the Word of God, as we have today, about the sin and depravity of our race, how very sweet it is to behold the Lamb of God who was manifested to take away our sin! How blessed is the assurance of grace that we who believe are in him in whom is no sin! Nothing can comfort the soul that is conscious of man’s one common nature of evil, but the consciousness that all who believe on the Son of God have one common righteousness. As by one man’s disobedience, many were made sinners; so by the obedience of one, many were made righteous. In Zedekiah, Ishmael, and all the residue of the people, we see nothing but sin. In ourselves, we see and feel the same. But in Christ, we behold a fulness of grace and righteousness abounding and super-abounding to our souls. From him, we receive all and have all. — “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!”