Jeremiah 11.12-14, 17 – God’s wrath
Posted: 22 June 2010 in Jeremiah

Then shall the cities of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem go, and cry unto the gods unto whom they offer incense: but they shall not save them at all in the time of their trouble. For according to the number of thy cities were thy gods, O Judah; and according to the number of the streets of Jerusalem have ye set up altars to that shameful thing, even altars to burn incense unto Baal. Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble….. For the LORD of hosts, that planted thee, hath pronounced evil against thee, for the evil of the house of Israel and of the house of Judah, which they have done against themselves to provoke me to anger in offering incense unto Baal.

The first half of the last century has a reputation for being (at least in Britain) the age of the fire and brimstone sermon. I wasn’t around at the time, so I can’t speak for the accuracy of the caricature; although there must be something in it, because a reaction subsequently set in. Perhaps people were wondering where the love of God fitted into the picture. Like all reactions, however, it seems to have gone too far, and today it is almost impolite to mention God’s wrath – even though the entire Bible assures us of its reality.

It is probably inevitable that, sometime during the next few decades, the pendulum is going to swing right back the other way. But what is really needed is for us to take the whole of God’s self revelation seriously.

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