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For the Greater Good

John Collins07/11/2012
In Jeremiah 32, Jeremiah prayed for God to give him understanding.

He praised God, saying that God made the heavens and the earth by His great power and outstretched arm.  Nothing is too hard for God, and His steadfast Love has been shown to thousands.

But he asked God why He was repaying the guilt of the fathers to the children.  He was a God great in counsel and mighty in deed, knowing the hearts of men and rewarding each one according to the fruit of their deeds.  He had shown great signs and wonders in the land of Egypt, and made a Name for Himself that had lasted from that time forward.

But the fathers did not obey His voice or walk in His law.  They did not keep His commandments, so God made disaster come upon them.  

God answered with authority.  "Behold, I am the Lord, God of all flesh.  Is anything too hard for me?"  God told Jeremiah that He was giving the city into the hands of the Chaldeans and Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon.  They would come and burn the city, burning the roofs of the houses that had held the worshippers of Baal who provoked God to anger.  God said that the children of Israel had done nothing but evil in His site from their youth, and done nothing but provoked God to anger.

Because the city had done nothing but evil since the day of its construction, this would be the day of its destruction.  Judah was the priesthood, and their officials, priests, prophets, and common man had turned their back on God.  Though God taught them persistently, they did not listen to God's instruction.  They used God's house for their abominations, and built high places of Baal in the valley.  

Worse yet, they sacrificed their sons and daughters to the Ammonite god Molech.  This was not in God's perfect plan, and God was displeased.  Therefore, God told Jeremiah that He would cleanse the city.  It was now given to the king of Babylon though sword, famine, and pestilence.  But it would not last forever.

God promised that He would gather the children of Israel from all countries, each place that He would drive them to.  He would bring them back and let them dwell in safety.  They would one day be God's people, and He would be their God.  They would be given one heart and Way, and that Way was to fear God.  This was for their good, and for the good of their children after them.

God would make them an everlasting covenant, and would continuously do good to them.  He would put the fear of God into their hearts, and they would not turn from God.  Then, He would rejoice in their good instead of anger at their evil.

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Do we understand that God's punishment is sometimes for the greater good?  Do we rejoice in our trials, praising God for His mighty work?  Do our pastors today keep their hearts and minds on God?  Is God pleased with us?  If our churches face struggles, we should consider this question:  Is God planning to show us a great and mighty change for our greater good?