Second Week of Lent | Ryan Combs

Psalms 75, 76
Jeremiah 5:20-31
Romans 3:19-31
John 7:1-13

We all want to be told that we are loved, but you rarely find someone who enjoys talking about God’s judgment. To many, the idea of God’s judgment paints a picture of an angry God, but if we play close attention, it is in God’s judgment that we see one of the clearest pictures of God’s love.

Jeremiah 5:20-31 tells of one of the many times that God is judging the people of Israel, and it is here that we can see that even when God casts out judgment, it is out of complete and utter love.

In this passage, God speaks through Jeremiah, and addresses the judgment that He will cast upon Israel because of their evil ways. So what horrible thing have they done to deserve this judgment? The word of God says in Jeremiah 5:28: “They know no bounds in deeds of evil; they judge not with justice the cause of the fatherless, to make it prosper, and they do not defend the rights of the needy.”

God is upset because the fatherless are not being cared for, the needy are not being defended and evil is running rampant throughout the world, causing more and more people to become fatherless and needy. The people of God were not living in a way that embodied His character, which is love. Therefore, God became angry to the point of judgment. Put simply, God becomes angry when His love is not made known to all people.

God has given us the opportunity to become His sons and daughters through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. As people of God, we, just as the people of Israel were in Jeremiah, are to live in a way that embodies God’s character. We are to care for the fatherless and the needy. We are to love.

To this you may ask, what about those who aren’t fatherless and poor?

God is our Father, and He is full of all riches, so it is natural to say that those that do not know Him are fatherless and needy. We as God’s people are called to love all people, especially those who do not know Him. God desires that we all experience His greatness, and when there are people that do not know Him, He becomes angry. Can’t you see? God’s judgment is not out of hate, it is out of love.

RYAN COMBS
Senior, Mass Communications

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