Monday, February 21, 2011

"If You Repent..."

Installment #15 of my self-assigned project to study the "re" words in God's Word. (For further explanation of this undertaking, refer to the entry titled "Reach, Read and Reap" from February 3, 2011.)



(verb) to feel such sorrow for sin or fault as to be disposed to change one's life for the better; to be sorry, regret or feel remorse

"Therefore this is what the LORD says:
   'If you repent, I will restore you
   that you may serve me;
if you utter worthy, not worthless, words,
   you will be my spokesman.
Let this people turn to you,
   but you must not turn to them.
I will make you a wall to this people,
   a fortified wall of bronze;
they will fight against you
   but will not overcome you,
for I am with you
   to rescue and save you,'
            declares the LORD."

Jeremiah 15:19-20

God is an "if/then" God. He often says in His Word, "if" we do this or that, "then" He will do thus and such. This is just such a a verse about repentance. Here the Lord is speaking to Jeremiah saying, "if" you repent "then" (implied) I will restore you. And He goes on to tell him how.

I read quite a bit of commentary on this passage from Matthew Henry's "Commentary on Jeremiah 15". Some of the things that stood out to me were that though Jeremiah had served the Lord well and suffered much for Him, God was still not indebted to him. God expected his obedience when He corrected him, and if Jeremiah complied by repenting of his quarrelsome temper and distrustful discontented thoughts and passions, God promised to restore Him. The Lord wanted to be represented well by Jeremiah with a composed and peaceable temperament; a man reconciled to his work. Only then would God bless him with His help again - when he chose to help himself. God is not a God who is going to faithfully bless someone and grant favor if the person is not faithful to Him - responsible and God-glorifying with their words and actions. It is my choice whether to abide by the terms of God's favor that is offered to me, just as it was Jeremiah's. "Men's hearts and lives must come up to God's law and comply with that, for God's law will never come down to them and comply with them."

Lord Jesus, I thank You that You are an if/then God. "If" I repent You are faithful and just to "then" forgive me of my sins and as this passage promises, restore me. Help me live up to Your standards and not expect You to come down to mine. In Jesus' name, amen.

Henry, Matthew. "Commentary on Jeremiah 15." . Blue Letter Bible. 1 Mar 1996. 2011. 21 Feb 2011.

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