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God’s Word for You

Jeremiah 30:12-17

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Friday, May 1, 2015

12 For this is what the LORD says.
“Your wound is incurable,
   your injury is severe.
13 There is no one to plead your cause,
     no one to bind your wounds.
     There are no healing medicines.
14 All your friends have forgotten you.
      They do not ask about you.
I have wounded you like an enemy would,
  I have punished you cruelly
because your guilt is so great,
  because your sins are so many.
15 Why do you cry over your injury,
     your incurable wound?
It is because of your great iniquity,
  because of your many sins
  that I have done these things to you.

In this passage, God shows Judah just how amazing forgiveness is by exposing just how lost they were without the Lord. There is hardly a better way of talking about our sinful condition than the Lord’s perfect phrase, “your incurable wound.” The “friends” in verse 14 could also be translated “lovers,” a reminder than God often pictures idolatry as adultery. When his people run to other gods, it is just like a wife deserting her husband. God wants us back.

God has tried to stop the desertion. He has hurt Judah, hurt the nation to make them realize that they need him. He has hurt them by letting another nation attack and enslave them. “Your guilt is so great…your sins are so many.” This is God grieving over his people. This is God calling his people back to faithfulness and faith.

16 Yet all who devour you will be devoured.
      all your enemies, every one of them, will go into captivity.
Those who plunder you will be plundered.
  All who prey on you will become prey.
17 For I will restore your health
      and I will heal your wounds, declares the LORD,
because they have called you an outcast,
  saying, It is Zion—for whom no one cares.”

God invites us back. “I will restore you,” he promises. “I will heal your wounds.” There are so many millions of people who have rebelled against God. How can he possibly know the condition of each and every heart? We get confused by the details of the few hundred people that each of us gets to know well during the course of a lifetime. Yet God knows everything (1 John 3:20). He knows the details of our lives and of our hearts, and he wants us to trust in him, to turn to him, and to put our whole lives in his hands.

The lethal, mortal wound of sin is healed by Jesus. God’s threats about attacking those who attack us can be comforting thoughts in certain circumstances. But what we really need to hear is not that God will punish someone else, but that God won’t punish me.

Your sins are forgiven. You are at peace with God.

In Christ,
Pastor Timothy Smith

Pastor Tim SmithAbout Pastor Timothy Smith
Pastor Smith serves St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in New Ulm, Minnesota. His wife, Kathryn, attended the Chapel from 1987-1990 while studying Secondary Education (Theater and Math) at UW-Madison. Kathryn’s father, John Meyer, was also the first man to serve as a Vicar at Chapel.

To receive God’s Word for You via e-mail, please contact Pastor Smith.