to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
September 02, 2019 – Monday
Jeremiah 16:10-13 NIV
10 “When you tell these people all this and they ask you, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such a great disaster against us? What wrong have we done? What sin have we committed against the Lord our God?’
11 then say to them, ‘It is because your ancestors forsook Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshiped them. They forsook Me and did not keep my law.
12 But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors. See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts instead of obeying Me.
13 So I will throw you out of this land into a land neither you nor your ancestors have known, and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.’
The words are harsh and angry as He has Jeremiah deliver a message of judgment. His preceding statements ended with Jeremiah repeating what God told him.
9 For this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Before your eyes and in your days I will bring an end to the sounds of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride and bridegroom in this place.
It was not just the sins of their forefathers, but their own sins that brought about such judgment,
But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors. See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts instead of obeying Me.
This tells us they had the opportunity to change their ways, to no longer sin as their ancestors had, but instead they chose to continue in those sins and even more sins that were more wicked than those of their forefathers. In fact He says if you really want to worship idols and other gods the land you will end up in there you will serve other gods day and night.
We would be excused if we thought that was the end of the story, but we cannot neglect to remember God’s incredible mercy and forgiveness as the following two verses show us.
14 “However, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ 15 but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors.
The punishment will end, the banishment will end and they will be restored to the land I gave their ancestors. David Guzik adds:
There is a valuable spiritual analogy here. The initial work of redemption in the life of a believer is great; but the restoring work of the believer – when God brings a chastened child of His out of a metaphorical exile and back into His favor and promise – this work may sometimes be regarded as even greater. This is the principle God revealed to Jeremiah.
This is reflective of what God does when He chastens us in preparing us for restoration or even to our initial redemption. Often times we are broken emotionally and or spiritually before we finally turn to God and His Son. As John says in 1 John 2:1-2
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2 He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.
His mercy endures.
RileyD, nwJ (to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)
* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)