Read Jeremiah 25:1-38
It was just over a year ago that 33 Chilean miners were rescued from being trapped a half mile under the surface of the earth. After 59 days below ground, the last of them emerged to the joy of family, friends, and the world. Even though the rescuers faced many challenges along the way, they did all they could to continue to make progress in the rescue attempt. They carefully planned so as not to complicate their efforts.
That last sentence is generally true of all human rescue attempts…with the exception of God’s rescue of sinners. Let’s face it, His people in today’s story were in desperate need of rescue. And He as the rescuer loved them more than words can express. But the salvation He provides for people was more and is more than a universal forgiveness of all people without regard for heart attitude. Rather than just reaching in and snatching people out of the desperation of their life situation and sin and immediately into eternity voice of challenges, He calls them to faith, repentance, and godly living. The result? Well, sometimes the rescue attempt seems complicated…maybe even like He is taking one step forward and two back.
God had already called His people, given them a land and promise. He had rescued them from Egypt to that land. He had outlined righteous living in His law. He had enabled them to conquer enemies, sent them help through the judges, and set them on a track towards their future king through David.
In the meantime, other kings had come and gone. The one nation of Israel had divided into two separate entities. And Judah, the southern kingdom, had been anything but faithful. They had wandered from Him and worshiped other gods. As a result, the Rescuer Himself plotted a course for them that included exile. Babylonian armies under Nebuchadnezzar would invade their holy city and destroy it. He would cart off people like Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego along with thousands of others. They would have seventy years to consider their ways and turn back to God.
He desires sincere devotion from those He rescues. Does He have it from you? If not, He may take some extreme measures to acquire it!