Good Options - Jeremiah 21

"And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death. He that abideth in this city shall die by the sword, and by the famine, and by the pestilence: but he that goeth out, and falleth to the Chaldeans that besiege you, he shall live, and his life shall be unto him for a prey." (Jeremiah 21:8-9)

In these verses God sets before His people the way of life and the way of death. The choice is theirs. Those who choose to stay in the city of Jerusalem will die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. Those who leave the city and surrender to the Chaldeans shall live.

Israel refused to leave the city and surrender to the Chaldeans so God once again repeated His preferred alternative — that they turn from their wicked ways and keep His commandments. Then their enemies would leave them and He would bless them.

"Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.

For if ye do this thing indeed, then shall there enter in by the gates of this house kings sitting upon the throne of David, riding in chariots and on horses, he, and his servants, and his people.

But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation." (Jeremiah 22:3-5)

Once again Israel refused to listen to God (Jeremiah 22:21) and He delivered them into the hand of the king of Babylon, the city that had been known for centuries and continues to be known as the headquarters of rebellion against God (Genesis 11; Revelation 18:2).

God is good, but when He runs out of his good options Satan is free to step in with his cruel options of disease, death, and destrucion. Of course Satan throws the blame for his dirty work on God. Notice what people say in Jeremiah 22:8-9:

“And many nations shall pass by this city, and they shall say every man to his neighbour, Wherefore hath the LORD done thus unto this great city?

Then they shall answer, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the LORD their God, and worshipped other gods, and served them.”

Notice that nobody thought the cause of all that destruction might be the ungodly lifestyle of the Israelites. After all the viewers themselves embraced that same lifestyle. It seemed better to put the blame on a jealous god who wanted to get even with inhabitants for abandoning his worship.

Often people blame God for their problems whereas in reality our problems come from choosing to reject God’s rule and his way of life. When we choose instead to follow Satan’s way of life, we bring serious consequences into our lives. What happens when God runs out of His loving options? Satan gets his chance. He is a cruel taskmaster and delights in pouring out his wrath upon us.

Added on 6/22/2012