Is he talking about us? Verse 14 says he’s talking about the evil nations seeking to harm Israel. They are not God’s chosen ones. God’s fury is settling in on Israel and Judah, but what about the rest of the world?
We know from the other messages Jeremiah has been sharing that God will use other nations to bring destruction. But in this reading, the prophecy switches to give hope to other nations as well. The instruction is there for how they can find favor with God, too.
We know from spending time in the New Testament that Gentiles were given access to grace because of what Jesus did. Isn’t it beautiful that God was speaking through Jeremiah about that same kind of grace all those years before?
What does God say here? “And if these nations truly learn the ways of my people, and if they learn to swear by my name, saying, ‘As surely as the Lord lives’ (just as they taught my people to swear by the name of Baal), then they will be given a place among my people.” The promise of hope was given for us in that moment. When we choose God, he grants us an inheritance, too!
What an extraordinary offer God makes. His mercy and grace is the same for all nations who adhere to the same covenant expectations that Israel and Judah have in place. Don’t get stuck on the “conditions.” Remember Ephesians 2:4-5, “But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)”
Do you respect God and his promises? Do you yearn to obey God and draw closer to him every day? Remember Mary’s song of praise to God for choosing her? Known as the “Magnificat”, she said this about God, “He shows mercy from generation to generation to all who fear him.” She had seen how God had blessed her and her people for honoring God.
When we acknowledge God for who he is and what he has done, we can’t help but want to please him. Be careful not to see “pleasing” God as “good works” that will earn your salvation. Salvation comes only by trusting in God’s grace.
If you have a hard time “fearing” God, just imagine what your life would be like without the hope of heaven and the gift of grace. Our fear of God is simply a deep awe, respect, and love. I tend to fear what my life would be without God and overflow with gratitude that I can call myself “chosen.” How about you?
Let’s pray … Lord, forgive me for those times when I forget how blessed I am. You have promised me a life with you forever, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the hope you so freely give. Forgive me for those times when I struggle with not feeling worthy. You have given your all for me. I want to give you my all in return. In Jesus’ name. Amen.