Jeremiah 17 has the prophet considering the sin of Judah. It is deep. “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron; with a point of diamond it is engraved on the tablet of their heart, and on the horns of their altars”. He makes it clear that their sin is full of hardness and their rebellion is strong. This is deep rooted sin. But in God’s eyes, sin is sin. And our sin is equally as bad as the people in Jeremiah’s time. We may try and excuse it as much less sinful, but there are no levels or grades of sin. All sin separates us from a righteous God.
God’s people have experienced His blessing. Their history is full of His power alive in their lives. Yet they forget and choose to worship idols and ignore the God who saved them and set them free. So they pay a price for those choices. “Your wealth and all your treasures I will give for spoil as the price of your high places for sin throughout all your territory”. God gives, and God can just as easily take away. But He never tolerates sin. He can’t look the other way and just ignore it. Sin will be addressed and carries a price.
We get a picture of what does lead to success in God’s economy. ” Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose trust is the Lord. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit”. Success is about relationship with God. It is about knowing Him and taking delight in His Word. When we get it right, we have no fear and will bear fruit. We live a blessed life in His presence.
Then comes the truth that puts a reality check on that blessing. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? “I the Lord search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds”. So blessing is available to each of us if we learn to trust and walk in obedience with the Lord. On the other hand, we’ve got to overcome our inclination to sin and realize that within us is a heart that can lead us the wrong way. Obedience to God is a choice – we have to intentionally make that choice because our natural inclination will be to take a different path.
God’s paying attention. He does keep score, at least until we receive the gift of grace through Jesus Christ at which time all our past sins are covered and forgiven and we’re set free from any scorecards from the past. Are you ready to stand before God and give an account? If we do it on our own, based on how we have lived, we’re going to fail the test to spend eternity with God. If we do it with Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we’ll pass with flying colors and our sin will be covered and we’ll have an eternity with the Father and Son and Holy Spirit that we can’t even imagine. But we have to make that choice. No one else can do it for us. Are you ready?