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Merciless

21 Feb

-Jeremiah 8:1-3-

At that time, declares the Lord, the bones of the kings and officials of Judah, the bones of the priests and prophets, and the bones of the people of Jerusalem will be removed from their graves.
2 They will be exposed to the sun and the moon and all the stars of the heavens, which they have loved and served and which they have followed and consulted and worshiped. They will not be gathered up or buried, but will be like dung lying on the ground.
3 Wherever I banish them, all the survivors of this evil nation will prefer death to life, declares the Lord Almighty.’

I am convicted!

I met a man today – a young security guard hired on my building site.

I’ve known him before; he stole from me.

At that time, I forgave him. Or at least I thought I did. But really I let it go because I did not want to be guilty of falsely accusing him.

Later when I learned that it was indeed true – he had stolen from me – I was furious.

I met him sometime later on the road and though I said nothing, I felt the feelings of Injustice.

This morning, at the site meeting, I was astonished as he handed me a hard-hat at the gate on the way in.

I knew immediately who it was but was so taken aback, I did not reach immediately.

After the meeting I spoke to the site manager and asked who had hired him.

I told them not to fire him but to let him know that he has to speak with me.

This evening I read Jeremiah 8:1-3 and was shocked at the desolation God pronounces on Judah.

This is the commentary on Jeremiah 8:1-3

The prophet proceeds, in this chapter, both to magnify and to justify the destruction that God was bringing upon this people, to show how grievous it would be and yet how righteous.

I. He represents the judgments coming as so very terrible that death should appear so as most to be dreaded and yet should be desired

Verses 1-3 These verses might fitly have been joined to the close of the foregoing chapter, as giving a further description of the dreadful desolation which the army of the Chaldeans should make in the land.

It shall strangely alter the property of death itself, and for the worse too.

I. Death shall not now be, as it always used to be—the repose of the dead.

When Job makes his court to the grave it is in hope of this, that there he shall rest with kings and counsellors of the earth; but now the ashes of the dead, even of kings and princes,shall be disturbed, and their bones scattered at the grave’s mouth,Ps. 141:7 .

It was threatened in the close of the former chapter that the slain should be unburied; that might be through neglect, and was not so strange; but here we find the graves of those that were buried industriously and maliciously opened by the victorious enemy, who either for covetousness, hoping to find treasure in the graves, or for spite to the nation and in a rage against it, brought out the bones of the kings of Judah and the princes.

The dignity of their sepulchres could not secure them, nay, did the more expose them to be rifled; but it was base and barbarous thus to trample upon royal dust.

We will hope that the bones of good Josiah were not disturbed, because he piously protected the bones of the man of God when he burnt the bones of the idolatrous priests, 2 Ki. 23:18 .

The bones of the priests and prophets too were digged up and thrown about.

Some think the false prophets and the idol-priests, God putting this mark of ignominy upon them: but, if they were God’s prophets and his priests, it is what the Psalmist complains of as the fruit of the outrage of the enemies, Ps. 79:1,Ps. 79:2 .

Nay, those of the spiteful Chaldeans that could not reach to violate the sepulchres of princes and priests would rather play at small game than sit out, and therefore pulled the bones of the ordinary inhabitants of Jerusalem out of their graves.

The barbarous nations were sometimes guilty of these absurd and inhuman triumphs over those they had conquered, and God permitted it here, for a mark of his displeasure against the generation of his wrath, and for terror to those that survived.

The bones, being dug out of the graves, were spread abroad upon the face of the earth in contempt, and to make the reproach the more spreading and lasting.

They spread them to be dried that they might carry them about in triumph, or might make fuel of them, or make some superstitious use of them.

They shall be spread before the sun (for they shall not be ashamed openly to avow the fact at noon day) and before the moon and stars, even all the host of heaven, whom they have made idols of, v. 2.

From the mention of the sun, moon, and stars, which should be the unconcerned spectators of this tragedy, the prophet takes occasion to show how they had idolized them, and paid those respects to them which they should have paid to God only, that it might be observed how little they got by worshipping the creature, for the creatures they worshipped when they were in distress saw it, but regarded it not, nor gave them any relief, but were rather pleased to see those abused in being vilified by whom they had been abused in being deified.

See how their respects to their idols are enumerated, to show how we ought to behave towards our God.

1. They loved them.

As amiable being and bountiful benefactors they esteemed them and delighted in them, and therefore did all that follows.

2. Theyserved them, did all they could in honour of them, and thought nothing too much; they conformed to all the laws of their superstition, without disputing.

3. They walked after them, strove to imitate and resemble them, according to the characters and accounts of them they had received, which gave rise and countenance to much of the abominable wickedness of the heathen.

4. They sought them, consulted them as oracles, appealed to them as judges, implored their favour, and prayed to them as their benefactors.

5. They worshipped them, gave them divine honour, as having a sovereign dominion over them.

Before these light of heaven, which they had courted, shall their dead bodies be cast, and left to putrefy, and to be as dung upon the face of the earth; and the sun’s shining upon them will but make them the more noisome and offensive.

Whatever we make a god of but the true God only, it will stand us in no stead on the other side death and the grave, nor for the body, much less for the soul.

II. Death shall now be what it never used to be—the choice of the living, not because there appears in it any thing delightsome; on the contrary, death never appeared in more horrid frightful shapes than now, when they cannot promise themselves either a comfortable death or a human burial; and yet every thing in this world shall become so irksome, and all the prospects so black and dismal, thatdeath shall be chosen rather than life (v. 3), not in a believing hope of happiness in the other life, but in an utter despair of any ease in this life.

The nation is now reduced to a family, so small is the residue of those that remain in it; and it is an evil family, still as bad as ever, their hearts unhumbled and their lusts unmortified.

Theseremain alive (and that is all) in the many places whither they were driven by the judgments of God, some prisoners in the country of their enemies, others beggars in their neighbour’s country, and others fugitives and vagabonds there and in their own country.

And, though those that died died very miserably, yet those that survived and were thus driven out should live yet more miserably, so that they should choose death rather than life, and wish a thousand times that they had fallen with those that fell by the sword.

Let this cure us of the inordinate love of life, that the case may be such that it may become a burden and terror, and we may be strongly tempted to choose strangling and death rather.

-From Jeremiah 8:7-

-“….but my people do not know the requirements of the LORD.”

AND THESE ARE THE LORD’S REQUIREMENTS: Micah 6:8 onward
I. TO DO JUSTLY. To act, speak, and to strive to think, fairly, honestly, towards all men. Not to suffer feelings, interest, passions, or prejudices to influence us. (See for Scripture counsels and commands, Deuteronomy 16:19, 20; Psalm 82:3, 4; Exodus 23:3, 8; Leviticus 19:33, 34, 35, 36; Proverbs 20:14; Leviticus 19:11; Exodus 23:1.) Notice that we are bidden to do justly, but not commanded always to exact justice, or our strict rights from others.
II. Love MERCY. The doing of strict justice is sometimes most painful, but the work of mercy is ever a labour of love. The Christian learns, more and more, how much he is indebted to mercy; and hence he loves mercy with thankful love, and the work of mercy is to him the work of gratitude. The Bible has beautiful precepts on this subject (Deuteronomy 22:1-4; Exodus 23:4, 5; Matthew 5:44; Romans 12:20, 21). The poor are especial objects of God’s mercy (Deuteronomy 15:11; Deuteronomy 24:10-13). The merciful will not be too sharp in gathering for himself all he can, nor in insisting on every right which man’s law gives him, if that right bear hardly on his neighbour (Deuteronomy 24:19-21; James 2:13). Mercy is to be shown in sympathy (Romans 12:15; Luke 23:34).
III. WALK HUMBLY WITH THY GOD. The humblest thing a man can do is to accept Christ. The next is to depend simply and entirely on God the Holy Ghost for strength to do just, grace to love mercy, and to walk humbly. To walk humbly is to have a constant sense of our sinfulness — God’s holiness; our weakness — God’s all might; our folly and ignorance — God’s wisdom, truth, and love. It is to acknowledge God in prosperity (Deuteronomy 8:12, etc.). It is to acknowledge God in adversity (1 Peter 5:6; Isaiah 57:15).

I have not shown mercy by these standards.

I knew that this man was just as surprised to find me again his boss.

He is a poor man.

Here poor means desperately poor.

And I am forcing him either to apologise (so I can bestow mercy) or submit to my righteous position.

I could have been completely silent.

I should have been completely silent.

I have sought Mercy before and received it. And I beg for mercy from God.

How can I see where Mercy called me and have refused to go?

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Posted by on February 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

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