The peaceful meadows will be laid waste because of the fierce anger of the Lord. Like a lion he will leave his lair, and their land will become desolate because of the sword of the oppressor and because of the Lord’s fierce anger. (Jeremiah 25:37-38)
The Scripture says that the Lord God is gracious, slow to anger and abounding in love. He is also holy and just and will not co-exist with sin. Injustice will not go on without penalty. God does not have a blind eye to turn.
Jeremiah is bringing the news of God’s judgment. God has reached out to a spiritually adulterous people for generations and that time is over. His ‘fierce anger’ is being poured out and Israel & Jerusalem are being judged, punished and sent into exile.
For Israel, their Promised Land from God was the source of their national identity. They felt positive that, in spite of their sin, there would always be God’s Holy Temple in Jerusalem. A pagan King was used to deliver God’s fierce anger against Israel.
A pagan ruler was used to deliver God’s fierce anger against Jesus (John 19). Pilate found Jesus to be innocent, but he was politically stuck and spiritually confused, so he reluctantly handed Jesus over to be crucified between two criminals. He was mocked while on the cross and Roman soldiers divided up his clothes among themselves. He was despised and rejected.
God’s fierce anger was satisfied when Jesus said ‘It is finished.’ The innocent One died for the guilty and now through faith in Him, people’s sins can be forgiven and the judgment of God avoided. The cross is the intersection of God’s abounding love and fierce anger. It’s all seen right there… on and in and through Jesus.
Is there any wonder why we worship Him?
Holy Father, Your anger toward my sin and everything that is opposed to You is real. It is a fierce and consuming indignation that cannot be ignored or averted. Your gracious love is also powerful… powerful enough to save me from Your wrath. Thank You for the Gospel that exalts Jesus’ redeeming work on the cross. It is an awesome truth that is worthy of my life. I live for You today…