Lord, let my heart break with what breaks Your heart. If it is something in me, let me leave it behind.
How do you see God's judgment?
Although these words come from the lips of Jeremiah, it is God himself who is speaking. In this almost overpowering lament, the heart of the prophet and the heart of God are in harmony. It is as though God is grieving aloud through his servant.
Despite God's repeated pleadings, his people are unwilling to mend their ways. Exile is now inevitable. But although this punishment comes from God's hands, it no less grieves God's heart. He is a Father who punishes his child only reluctantly and as a last resort.
When we come to considering God's judgment, two equally serious mistakes are often made. Some shy away entirely from talking about judgment, insisting that God is a God of love, never of anger. But parental love that never chides or corrects is no love at all. Others almost rub their hands in glee at the thought of God judging--always other people, of course. But this overlooks two truths: first, that God stands in judgment only with reluctance and grief (2 Pet. 3:9); and, secondly, that his judgment falls first on those who claim to be on his side, and does so to purge and purify (1 Pet. 4:17).
In what ways and for what reasons do you think God is holding back judgment? Journal your thoughts.
Father, You are perfectly loving and perfectly just. My heart trusts in You.
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