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God’s Word for You

Jeremiah 30:23-24

by Pastor Timothy Smith on Thursday, May 7, 2015

23 Look, a storm of the LORD!
      His wrath has gone out,
a whirlwind twisting down
  whirling on the heads of the wicked
24 The LORD’s anger will not turn back
        until he has completely fulfilled the purposes of his heart.
        In later days you will understand it perfectly.

This is almost identical to Jeremiah’s words in 23:19-20. The only important difference (apart from an extra “and”) is whether the wind is “twisting down” or “sweeping down.” Many of us from the Midwest or Southern states know that there is little difference in the damage done whether it’s a tornado twisting down or straight-line winds sweeping through (the same distinction can be made with surging waters, Isaiah 8:7-8, or a fire, Amos 5:6). God’s wrath rises up against those who are not holy. In this chapter and the next, we are focusing our attention especially on God’s righteousness and grace. The existence of God’s righteousness means that there is a line between right and wrong, and God’s righteousness also means the punishment of those who are not righteous and who reject God.

This focus on the law and on God’s judgment is brief. Chapter 31 begins immediately after this, and we will be showered with the promises of God’s grace.

The last line of the chapter tells us something about heaven. “In latter days,” the Lord promises, “you will understand it perfectly.” After the resurrection, we will know why God did things that he did throughout history. We will understand, and we will even demonstrate that understanding with our eternal praise of God. We can expect to review the entire history of our lives and of the world, if we care to, and praise God for every act of grace and holiness. That praise will focus on the cross, but we will also praise him for what happened with each one of our daily crosses, too (Luke 9:23). “For whoever loses his life for me,” Jesus said, “will save it” (Luke 9:24).

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.