Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
God had spelled things out pretty plainly for Judah. Jeremiah and the other prophets had been proclaiming God’s truth to the people, warning them of the consequences of their continual disobedience and telling them there was mercy awaiting them if they would turn back to God. And now He is willing to give them yet another chance. By having Jeremiah write this book, perhaps seeing everything laid out in front of them would change their hearts and cause them to repent. God still wants to forgive them, but He can’t until they forsake their sin and return to Him.
Isn’t it amazing how God gives us His Word for the same thing in our lives? He spells out everything very clearly for us and presents it to us—His very words for us to read and know. He gives us everything we need within it. He tells us the choice we have to obey or disobey and the consequences of each. But the question is how we will apply them to our lives. Will we be like the people in Judah who scoffed at these words from God and sought to destroy them? Or will we respond to them and repent of our sin?
God always tells us what is necessary for us to know. It’s not His fault if we refuse to listen to Him. He doesn’t want to punish people for the sake of punishment, but His judgment had to come. Many today respond to the Word of God with the same attitude as people back in Jeremiah’s day. They rejected it outright and refused to heed what it said. But may we listen to what God is trying to tell us. Let us respond to it in the proper way, make the changes we need to make, turn wholeheartedly to Him, and surrender as He’s asked.
If the Word of God couldn’t convince the people, nothing else would have been able to. Their own choice had sealed their fate. The same is true of people today. Lives can be changed. Circumstances can be changed. Souls can change course for heaven. But we’re not going to convince people with cute sayings or human wisdom. It must be the Word of God that challenges, convicts, and then changes those hearts. So let us be faithful to proclaim His Word, because it just might change someone’s life forever.