In a section of today’s reading, the Lord is angry with the people because of their rebellion, the king because of his arrogance and the prophets because they were prophesying falsely. In all this, the nation was not being benefited (Jer. 23:32), they were on the edge of forgetting their Lord (Jer. 23:27) and they were in danger of facing the judgment of the Lord. This is a dangerous and fearful situation! Yet, the Lord asks a question in the midst of His remarks which caused me to pause – “Am I a God Who is near,” declares the Lord, “and not a God far off?” (Jer. 23:23) Our God is a god Who is near, Who is aware of all our comings and goings and Who told the nation in Jeremiah’s day that He would one day raise up His ‘righteous Branch.’

Today, we know this righteous Branch…He is Jesus our Savior. He took on a human body, live among us (‘came near’), died for our sins, was buried, rose again…and now we await His return. Jeremiah says that when He returns He will reign as king, He will act wisely and prosper, He will enact justice and righteousness, and He will also provide security for His people (Jer. 23:5-6). This ‘God Who is near’ can do these same things today regardless how degraded our culture appears. And He is asking of us what He was asking the nation in Jeremiah’s day…to simply trust Him.

Regardless what the current state of our culture, our God is aware and is withholding judgment until a day of His choosing. Regardless what the politicians, preachers and prophets do or say, our God will one day reign upon the earth! And regardless our feelings, we can trust that He will fulfill His promises. The Righteous Branch is coming to reign righteously and justly – believe that. And remember two things: (1) our God ‘Who is near’ is aware of all that is happening in every nation on this planet and will judge accordingly, and (2) He is also aware of what is happening in the confines of your own heart!

by Curt Krohn, Senior Pastor

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