In my last blog post we took a look at the early chapters of Jeremiah, specifically addressing the wrath of God. These later chapters of the book detail judgments that will befall the wayward nations, painting a horrific picture of God’s wrath against his people.
The truth that is repeatedly hammered home is the reality of mankind’s sin and God’s fixed predisposition not to tolerate it. He doesn’t just threaten to zap the sinful people, but rather to crush, desolate, strip, terrify, consume, and generally wreak havoc upon them. “He who flees from the terror shall fall into the pit, and he who climbs out of the pit shall be caught in the snare” (Jer. 48:44). This reads like a horror movie script!
The seriousness of human rebellion against an infinitely good Creator merits serious retribution. I think it is good to read these accounts to remind us that sin is not a trivial issue but one which would have grave and everlasting consequences were it not for the saving work of Christ on the cross.
The staggering wonder of the gospel is made real when you put yourself in the place of the Elamites, about whom the Lord said, “I will terrify Elam before their enemies and before those who seek their life. I will bring disaster upon them, my fierce anger, declares the Lord. I will send the sword after them, until I have consumed them, and I will set my throne in Elam and destroy their king and officials…” (Jer. 49:37-38). Instead of facing this kind of judgment from God we are unbelievably spared in spite of our sin, thanks to the judgment of Jesus Christ (on our behalf) on Calvary.
Till on that cross as Jesus died,
The wrath of God was satisfied–
For every sin on Him was laid;
Here in the death of Christ I live.
– “In Christ Alone” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend
This amazing song nicely sums up our redemption story: