from the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
The Book of Jeremiah communicates to its readers that our Heavenly Father is truly a God of Second Chances. The book gives the readers a deep and rich picture of God’s amazing grace. I shall forever be indebted to Dr. Clyde Woods for giving me a love and appreciation for the book. The book describes in a powerful, yet a heartfelt emotional way God’s love for His people. God uses the talents of a young boy to appeal to the people of Judah. Jeremiah, for more than forty years, pleads with the stubborn people of Judah.
Jeremiah’s mission to Judah is twofold: first, to plead with them to accept God’s invitation of a second chance - repent; and secondly, to warn them of the destruction coming from the North (Jer. 1:14ff). Prior to preaching his first sermon, the young man surveys God’s people and what he sees is devastating. What he witnesses is enough to cause a tough man to weep tears of compassion. He observes people who have committed two major sins: first, they have forsaken God, and second, they have put their trust in broken cisterns that have cracks in them (Jer. 2:13). The prophet raises the question, “Can a virgin forget her ornament. Or a bride her attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number (Jer. 2:32). Judah had turned from God and had put her confidence in gods who will fall short in times of need. In chapter 3, the prophet uses the metaphor of Judah as a wife to God. God loves Judah as a man loves his wife (19-25). The prophet begs for her to return to God and He is ready as a loving Husband to give her another chance.
Oh what love! God loves Judah so much. So, He sees her metaphorically with other men, but He never ceases loving her. He sees her in the arms of others, but He is ready to give her a second chance. Oh, what love! The prophet not only witnesses the sins of the people, but the sins of men who are supposed to be advocating for God. These men have become corrupt themselves. In chapter 5:31, Jeremiah writes, “The prophets prophesy falsely, And the priests rule by their own power: And My people love to have it so…” It appears that every person of Judah is doing what is right in his or her own eyes. They have forgotten God. God commissions Jeremiah to continue to declare His twofold message to the Judah. In chapter 6, Jeremiah says the prophets have fooled the people to think and believe all is well. As a result of their false perceptions of reality and their grave immoral minds, they committed horrendous sins and didn’t blush. How sad!
With a tearful face, Jeremiah cries for the people to remember what God has done for them. He begs for them to consider their ways and return to God and they shall find a God willing and ready to give them a second chance. In Jeremiah 6:16b, the people of Judah proclaim, “We will not walk in it.” That is, we are not going to stop living the lives that we are living. We don’t want to return to a God who loves and cares for us. We don’t want a second chance.
God wants to give a second chance, but what do you do when people don’t want another chance. Let us be careful that we never get to the point in our lives that we don’t want God’s amazing grace – God’s second chance! Please God help us to want a relationship with you!