And it shall come to pass if they will diligently learn the ways of my people to swear by my name as the Lord lives. Even as they taught my people to swear by bail, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people.
– Jeremiah 12:16
Oh, what a picture of God’s mercy and grace and compassion. God’s talking about how His people have been taught to swear by bail, by a false God, by an idol. This is a picture of the rebellion of God’s people and their sin against Him and how that hurt others. Yet, God is saying here that if they will repent, if they will turn from this sin and they will do the opposite, they will learn my ways and swear by my name as the Lord lives, then they shall be built up in the midst of my people.
Jeremiah 12:16 Remembers Us God is Willing to Forgive
Do you see the compassion and the mercy of God? Do you hear the compassion and the mercy of God in these words? He is willing to forgive. God is willing to restore. God is willing to bless when we repent. When we turn from our sin, when we look to him, when we confess our sin and do the opposite, pursue righteousness, pursue his ways, speak his word, he is ready and willing and gracious to forgive.
Slow to anger, Exodus 34 tells us, and a bounding and steadfast love toward all who turned to Him. So consider your life today. Where do you need to repent? Where do you need to confess sin and do the opposite, pursue righteousness? God, help us to continually examine our hearts and continually confess sin, open our eyes to see sin in our lives as you see sin in our lives as hurtful and harmful for the seriousness that it is and rebellion against you and how it leads to our harm and destruction, and not just ours, but others. Even seeing here in Jeremiah 12:16 how not only were the people swearing by bail, but they were teaching others to swear by bail.
Jeremiah 12:16 Pray that God Would Forgive Us for Our Sin
God, we pray that you would forgive us for the sin in our lives. And we praise you, even as we ask that, we praise you for your willingness to forgive. Jesus, we praise you for dying on the cross to pay the price for all of our sin. I think about the conversation, oh God, that I had just this week with someone who was just so burdened by sin from their past.
And to be able to share the good news that you cover over it all, God, made me live in that reality and that joy that our sin has been covered by the blood of Jesus, for all who have trusted in you, that we are forgiven of our sin and we are free from its power in our lives, so help us, to diligently learn your ways more and more every day, and to walk in obedience to you, to do the opposite of what we are tempted in our flesh to do, to live in your spirit, by your power, in obedience to your word and your way, and in this to experience life, all made possible by your compassion and your grace.
Praying for the Southern Kurdish People of Iran
God, we shudder to think where we would be, apart from your compassion and your grace, your willingness to forgive and to restore. And we praise you today for your mercy in our lives. And even as we do that, we pray for the spread of your mercy through our lives around us. Help us to share this good news with other people today.
And God, we pray for the spread of this good news among all the peoples of the world, for the Southern Kurdish people of Iran, three and a half million of them, so few of them followers of Jesus. God, we pray for the spread of your mercy in Iran, and specifically among the Southern Kurdish people there. God, we pray that you would use our lives, our families, our churches to make this good news known all around the world, that God is gracious and merciful and willing to forgive for all who will trust in Him and in His mercy, in your mercy. We pray all of this, according to your word in Jeremiah 12:16, in Jesus’ name. Amen.