Daily Bible Reading: Jeremiah 30

Why do you protest your punishment- this wound that has no cure? I have had to punish you because your sins are many and your guilt is great.
This is what the LORD says: “When I bring Israel home again from captivity and restore their fortunes, Jerusalem will be rebuilt on its ruins, and the palace reconstructed as before. There will be joy and songs of thanksgiving, and I will multiply my people, not diminish them; I will honor them, not despise them. Their children will prosper as they did long ago. I will establish them as a nation before me, and I will punish anyone who hurts them. They will have their own ruler again, and he will come from their own people. I will invite him to approach me,” says the LORD, “for who would dare to come unless invited? You will be my people, and I will be your God.” Jeremiah 30:15, 18-22 NLT
This chapter is written to those who have been exiled. There is a sharp contrast between their current situation and the hope God has for them on the other side of their punishment. I have a few thoughts from reading this chapter.
In verse 15, we find this question, “Why do you protest your punishment?” To rephrase, “Why do you protest the consequences you have earned with your choices?” This illustrates one of our common human traits, we complain when we do not get what we want, even when what we get is what we deserve. Advances in technology and knowledge have done nothing to change this trait in us.
The hope God lays before them is this, “You will be my people, and I will be your God.” However, before that happens, there will be a time of exile, the time of leading what it means to be apart from God. There is a bright and wonderful future, but first one must walk through the valley.
It is often this way. Consider someone diagnosed with cancer. He or she may choose to willingly, yet reluctantly, endure surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy because of the hope that lies on the other side. They know there is something within them that must be removed if they are to live.
God’s people had something within them that needed to be removed also. It was the idea that they could have abundant life apart from God. They needed to experience what it was like to be apart from God in order to yearn for that relationship again. Unfortunately, this is another one of our human traits that has not changed over the years. Sometimes we wander for years in ‘the far country,’ far apart from God before we realize our need to walk with Him. Through Christ, we can walk with God, knowing that we are His people, and He is our God.
Where, and with whom, are you walking today?