I banish them in my furious anger and great wrath. (Jer. 32:37)
Expanded Passage: Jeremiah 32:36-38
God often uses humans to establish his justice. Recently I went to court as a witness in a murder trial. As I sat on the witness chair, I looked to my right and saw the woman who was accused (and eventually convicted) of murder. On my left was a jury of twelve people from our community. I noticed that the jury was comprised of ordinary men and women, white- and blue-collar workers, moms and grandpas. Everyday people who held a very important decision in their hands. Would they find this woman guilty, resulting in a serious legal consequence, or would they find her innocent?
Have you noticed that God chooses to do much of his work through simple human helpers? He gives people the responsibility to teach and correct, and even punish wicked actions. He does this so that we can grow and mature, both as the ones who need correction, and the ones who are doing the correcting. Not every human punishment is aligned with God’s will. And it’s not always easy to see how God is correcting us for our own good. This is especially true in the violence throughout the Old Testament. God sent invading armies to bring his severe correction to the Israelites. God didn’t hate them, nor did he abandon his people. Jeremiah reminded them that God was working to correct and eventually restore them.
Recognize how God might be correcting you through others.
Jarod Osborne is lead pastor of Pathway (Wesleyan) Church, in Warsaw, Ind.. He is the author of Jaded Faith (WPH).
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.