What You’ve Missed…
* God calls Jerusalem a useless vine.
* God calls Jerusalem an adulterous wife.
* God calls Jerusalem his beautiful daughter. But then calls her a prostitute. (In fact, God goes into great detail mentioning that this prostitute daughter actually lusts after men who, “have genitals like that of a donkey” completely one-upping Sir Mix-a-Lot’s I Like Big Butts.
* God says He is going to pour out his fury on Israel for her sins.
* Oh yeah, and God says He’s going to pour out judgment on all the false prophets.
* Apparently God is a tad angry these days.
(Credit for the above image goes to memegenerator.net)
Daily Reading: Jeremiah 32-33, Ezekiel 26
To give you an idea of the kinds of things God is saying to His people at this point, allow me to let the Bible speak for itself.
“Son of man, turn and face Jerusalem and prophesy against Israel and her sanctuaries. Tell her, ‘This is what the LORD says: I am your enemy, O Israel, and I am about to unsheath my sword to destroy your people – the righteous and the wicked alike. Yes, I will cut off both the righteous and the wicked! I will draw my sword against everyone in the land from south to north. Everyone in the world will know I am the LORD. My sword is in my hand, and it will not return to its sheath until its works is finished.’” (Ezekiel 21:1-5)
First of all…that is one of the most bad ass, pre-battle speeches ever. We’re passed Braveheart at this point. This up there with the stuff Samuel L. Jackson is quoting in Pulp Fiction. Clearly God knows how to put the fear of God in people.
Second of all…here we go again. God is calling for the destruction of His own people. A few posts ago we saw God say He would have mercy on His people. So, what about now?
Well…it’s kind of the same deal. But not. In Jeremiah, God says He will allow Jerusalem to indeed fall completely into Babylon’s evil clutches (though, honestly, I thought this had already happened…so I’m kind of confused), and they will suffer as a result of their sinful behavior. But then He says this,
“The LORD gave another message to Jeremiah. He said, ‘Have you heard what people are saying – ‘The LORD chose Judah and Israel and then abandoned them!’…But this is what the LORD says: I would no more reject my people than I would change my laws that govern night and day, earth and sky. I will never abandon the descendants of Jacob or David, my servant, or change the plan that David’s descendants will rule the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Instead, I will restore them to their land and have mercy on them.” (Jeremiah 33:23-26)
It seems that God is in fact going to allow the majority of His people to be destroyed through war and famine as He’s promised, but also, that he promises to restore them after it’s all over. In fact, God also says,
“Now I want to say something more about [Jerusalem]. You have been saying, ‘It will fall to the king of Babylon through war, famine and disease.’ But this is what the LORD, the God of Israel says: I will certainly bring my people back again from all the countries where I will scatter them in my fury. I will bring them back to this very city and let them live in peace and safety.” (Jeremiah 32:36-37)
“This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: This land – though it is now desolate and has no people and animals – will once more have pastures where shepherds can lead their flocks…The day will come, says the LORD, when I will do for Israel and Judah all the good things I have promised them.” (Jeremiah 33:12-14)
So, I guess God isn’t really going back on His word here. He’s just saying, “Look, I’m unhappy and things are going to seriously suck for awhile. I promise. But then, I’m going to make it awesome again. Really awesome. I promise. Stick with me.”
Weird, but okay. I can rally around that kind of upfront honesty, seasoned with hope for the future. (Maybe our presidential candidates should get God on their speech writing teams. Or maybe they should just start telling the truth. I’m actually not sure which is more likely.)
Honestly though, I’m still a little confused about whether Jerusalem has actually been captured yet or not. And that whole “men hung like donkeys” thing is still kind of messing me up.