Following the word “turn” (שוב) through Jeremiah’s prophecy.
“In vain I have struck your sons; they accepted no chastening. Your sword has devoured your prophets like a destroying lion. O generation, heed the word of the LORD. Have I been a wilderness to
or a land of thick darkness? Why do My people say, ‘We are free to roam; We
will no longer come to You’? Can a virgin forget her ornaments, or a bride her
attire? Yet My people have forgotten Me days without number. How well you
prepare your way to seek love! Therefore even the wicked women you have taught
your ways. Also on your skirts is found the lifeblood of the innocent poor; you
did not find them breaking in. But in spite of all these things, yet you said,
‘I am innocent; surely His anger is turned [שוב]
away from me.’ Behold, I will enter into judgment with you because you say,
‘I have not sinned.’ Why do you go around so much changing your way? Also, you
will be put to shame by Israel Egypt
as you were put to shame by Assyria. From this
place also you will go out with your hands on your head; for the LORD has
rejected those in whom you trust, and you will not prosper with them”
“Surely.” In 2:35 the people assume that God’s mercy and love trump His holiness and justice. The fiery serpents (seraphs) around the throne of God don’t eternally, unceasingly cry, “love, love, love,” or “mercy, mercy, mercy.” They cry, “HOLY, HOLY, HOLY” (Isaiah 6:3; Revelation 4:8). I would get in trouble from classic systematic theologians for saying this, but it is from His holiness that all other divine attributes flow. We cannot understand His love apart from His holiness. It is His consistent command to His people: be holy as I am holy (Leviticus 11:44; 19:2; 20:7; 1 Peter 1:14-16). Have mercy on us, Lord, for assuming that the incarnation and closeness of the God-with-us Immanuel means that You are no longer holy. Forgive us, Lord, for blaspheming You in our understanding and worship by thinking the King of kings, the eternal Son of God, is anything less than absolute holiness.
Jesus, the risen and glorified King over all, is holy. He has anger and hatred over sin.
“But of the Son He says, ‘YOUR THRONE, O GOD, IS FOREVER AND EVER, AND THE RIGHTEOUS SCEPTER IS THE SCEPTER OF HIS KINGDOM. YOU HAVE LOVED RIGHTEOUSNESS AND HATED LAWLESSNESS; THEREFORE GOD, YOUR GOD, HAS ANOINTED YOU WITH THE OIL OF GLADNESS ABOVE YOUR COMPANIONS’” (Hebrews 1:8,9; quoting from Psalm 45:6,7).
“Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place - unless you repent. Yet this you do have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” (Revelation 2:5,6).
The people of God should never assume that His gracious love in Christ is a license to live however we “feel led” to live (read Romans 6!!). The Lord Jesus, through Whom the love of God comes to the Church, is also the “Holy One” (Mark 1:24; Luke 1:35; 4:34; John 6:69; Acts 2:27; 3:14; 4:27,30; 13:35; Hebrews 7:26; Revelation 3:7). The Spirit Who is the very love of God in Christ poured out freely upon is Himself the “Holy Spirit” (Romans 5:5; Galatians 5:22).
May we become careful students and practitioners of the holiness of the Trinity, not daring to wash away His holiness in an attempt to make Him more like us, but instead grasping fearfully and hungrily for His holiness that it may be the power of our lives for His glory. And, through His holiness, we will begin to truly understand His love.
His goal and purpose for His Bride, the Church, is holiness (Ephesians 1:4; 5:26,27). This is the Bridegroom's love.
|"Seraph," in the Matrix Trilogy|