In the Old Testament, God’s law governed the conduct of the nation of Israel. The Israelites often broke those laws by sinning against the Lord. Therefore because of their continued rebellion, God often sent punishment their way. We see an example of that in Jeremiah.
“When you tell the people all these things, they will ask, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such terrible things against us? What have we done to deserve such treatment? What is our sin against the Lord our God?’ Jeremiah 16:10
This song has been sung too many times throughout the ages. Questions pointed to God like, “What have I done?” Or “why is God treating me this way?”
I heard someone on the radio recently say it’s ok to question God. Their reasoning is because we are just human.
I can see why a young Christian might entertain those types of questions. Christians of maturity though should know God well enough not to question him at all.
I have written this related post called, Why Question God, He Is the Lord.
Let’s get back to the verse at hand. People in Jeremiah’s day wanted to hear from God, but they really didn’t want to hear what He had to say.
They had a habit of putting God into their own little box. And He needed to stay there so they could live out their evil desires.
But Jeremiah told them exactly what God said about their sinful ways.
They will die from terrible diseases. No one will mourn for them or bury them, and they will lie scattered on the ground like manure. They will die from war and famine, and their bodies will be food for the vultures and wild animals. Jeremiah 16:4
What Sin Was Committed?
When they asked what they did against the Lord, Jeremiah returned God’s answer.
Then you will give them the Lord’s reply: It is because your ancestors were unfaithful to me. They worshiped other gods and served them. They abandoned me and did not obey my word. Jeremiah 16:11
Some of you reading this might be tempted to question God about the answer Jeremiah wrote. But hold on, he finished the answer in the next verse.
And you are even worse than your ancestors! You stubbornly follow your own evil desires and refuse to listen to me. Jeremiah 16:12
In the Old Testament, fortunately, when God brought punishment upon His people, it eventually came to an end. But let’s talk about the New Testament punishment.
The Punishment of God in the New Testament
We know that John 3:16 declares how much God loved the world. But look at the next verse telling what Jesus came to do with the establishment of the New Covenant.
God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him. John 3:17
The punishment issued by God for breaking the laws of the Old Covenant no longer exists. I know there are times it seems like we are being punished.
There are three major reasons why we go through harsh or hard times.
- The biggest reason falls under the law of sowing and reaping. Good or bad we will end up reaping what we have sown.
- Here is the second reason we suffer difficulties. It comes from yielding to temptations the enemy dangles in front of us.
- Our own sinful nature creates the third major reason we have hard times in our lives.
God will at times test us as well which may seem hard. He does that to help us to grow and mature as Christians.
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. James 1:3-4
The Eternal Punishment of God
The punishment of God in the New Testament begins in eternity. As we are living our lives right now, we are under the grace of God.
For God saved us and called us to live a holy life. He did this, not because we deserved it, but because that was his plan from before the beginning of time—to show us his grace through Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 1:9
We will never achieve the standard of righteousness required by God to get to heaven. Therefore, He made provision for us through His Son, Jesus.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
The word death in that verse isn’t referring to the physical death of our bodies. It means a separation from God for all eternity.
Anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire. Revelation 20:15
Don’t Spend Eternity Asking Questions
So I wonder how many people thrown into eternal punishment will question God for all eternity? Using the same questions the Israelites asked in Jeremiah.
What have we done to deserve such treatment? What is our sin against the Lord our God? Jeremiah 16:10
Please, don’t be one of them. Receive Jesus as your Savior. Live with the Lord for all eternity instead of questioning God while suffering eternal punishment.
Check out these related posts.
- What’s The Best Way To Seek Forgiveness Of Sin?
- When Someone Unintentionally Sins, What Happens?
- How Does My Sin Affect Other People?
- It’s Important To Know How Sinful We Are
- Will God Forgive Me If I Keep Sinning
- How To Be Free From The Slavery Of Sin
- Seek Forgiveness Of Sins Through Prayer
- The Consequence of Sin
Lord, help us to sow spiritual fruit in our lives and win victories over Satan’s temptations. We also need your power and grace to conquer our sinful natures. Finally, Lord, help us to share this message with those who need a relationship with you.
Read the entire chapter of Jeremiah 16.
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