Jeremiah 22:21: “I spoke to you in your prosperity, / But you said, ‘I will not hear.’ / This has been your manner from your youth, / That you did not obey My voice.”

July 20th, 2021 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Chapter 22 refers back to the several kings who reigned before King Zedekiah and the message God sent to them through Jeremiah. He was calling them to repentance as well. This shows again how much and how long God was waiting and calling on His people to repent, but they were obstinate. It gives us more insight into why God told King Zedekiah so plainly that He would not help him and would in fact fight against him in chapter 21.

God had warned King Jehoiakim repeatedly of the dangers of continuing in sin. God said, “When you were doing good, I spoke; but you refused to listen or repent.” This should make each of us pause and consider just how hard it is for God to get us to respond when things are going well in our lives. This warning is also about habit patterns that are established in our youth. We are far more likely to reject God’s conviction today, if we have rejected it in the past and felt like we got away with it.

Taking God’s mercy for granted is a dangerous attitude for believers to have. We get into a mindset that since God often chooses to exercise mercy rather than discipline, He will always choose mercy over discipline. We must never use God’s mercy or grace as an excuse to sin. Paul spoke of this when he said, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!” (Rom. 6:1–2). But every believer can truthfully say that they have received far more mercy than discipline. And mercy can never be earned, since by its very definition it means not getting what we deserve. When Thomas Hooker (1586–1647), the Puritan colonial leader who founded the Colony of Connecticut, was on his deathbed, someone said to him, “You are going to receive the reward of your labors.” He replied, “I am going to receive mercy.”

“LORD, may we never take Your mercy for granted but also may we never forget to ask You for it repeatedly. We pray that Your mercy and grace would fall on our lives today.”