Growing with God: A daily devotional with Tonia Slimm.
Jeremiah 4:11-12 (NIV)
“At that time this people and Jerusalem will be told, “A scorching wind from the barren heights in the desert blows toward my people, but not to winnow or cleanse; a wind too strong for that comes from me. Now I pronounce my judgments against them.”
Jeremiah 4:11-12 (MSG)
“At that time, this people, yes, this very Jerusalem, will be told in plain words: “The northern hordes are sweeping in from the desert steppes—A wind that’s up to no good, a gale-force wind. I ordered this wind. I’m pronouncing my hurricane judgment on my people.”
“In that time it will be said to this people and to Jerusalem, “A scorching wind from the barren heights in the wilderness [comes at My command] against the daughter of My people—not [a wind] to winnow and not to cleanse [from chaff, as when threshing, but] a wind too strong and full for this comes at My word. Now I will also speak judgment against My people.” -AMPLIFIED
“The warnings now climax with a vision of invasion and destruction that is almost more than the young prophet can bear. Still God instructs Jeremiah to speak these words of terror, and this prophet who loves the people he has been called to chastise struggles with his mission. In the midst of this painful vision, Jeremiah begins to wonder aloud to the very God for whom he speaks. As he proclaims, he prays. As he waits for answers, the words of devastation continue.” ~VOICE footnote
In yesterday’s text we found Jeremiah devastated over the destruction that God had told him was coming against Judah. Jeremiah felt that God had deceived the people, when in reality, it was the false prophets. Jeremiah’s response to God’s Message of destruciton:
“I said, “Oh no, Lord God, you have certainly deceived this people and Jerusalem, by announcing, ‘You will have peace,’ while a sword is at our throats.” -Jeremiah 4:10 (CSB)
We learned of the need to test the spirits, to weigh everything against the Word, and to not believe everything that we hear.
In today’s passage, we will learn of the impact, the total effect, of God’s judgement would be on Judah.
“The day is coming soon when Jerusalem and the people beyond will be told, “A blistering wind will blow in from the desert mountains toward My daughter, My people: a wind too strong to winnow the grain and clean the crops, a wind too powerful to withstand for it comes from Me. It is My judgment that will bear down on you.” -(VOICE)
God gives to Jeremiah a eye-opening, and sobering prediction of what His judgement against Judah will look like. It will be like, “‘A scorching wind from the desert heights is sweeping down on my people.’” -Complete Jewish Bible
This scorching wind, otherwise known as a sirocco or khamsin, in North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, that blows from the south or southeast in late winter and early spring. It is a blasting, hot, dry wind, that is full of dust and sand. A parching wind that dries everything out, and destroys, leaving nothing unscathed in its path. And its temperatures often reach above 40° C (104° F), it can blow continuously for three or four days at a time. This is how God’s judgement will come against Judah.
“All these expressions appear to refer to the pestilential winds, suffocating vapours, and clouds and pillars of sand collected by whirlwinds, which are so common and destructive in the east, (Isaiah 21:1;) and these images are employed here to show the overwhelming effect of the invasion of the land by the Chaldeans.” ~Adam Clarke
Even Isaiah mentions this wind of judgement:
“As windstorms in the Negev (the South) sweep through, so it (God’s judgment) comes from the desert, from [the hostile armies of] a terrifying land.” -Isaiah 21:1b (AMP)
The Hot Breath of God’s Judgment!
Remember what God had told Jeremiah back in chapter one, how He was sending judgment upon Judah for the fact that they had abandoned Him.
“I will speak My judgments against them for all the wickedness of those who have abandoned (rejected) Me, offered sacrifices or burned incense to other gods, and worshiped the [idolatrous] works of their own hands.” -Jeremiah 1:16 (AMP)
“At that time he will send a burning wind from the desert upon them—not in little gusts but in a roaring blast—and he will pronounce their doom.” -(TLB)
“The judgment that would come like a wind would be so strong that it would not be like a fan, cooling the people; nor to cleanse with a gentle wind. It would destroy and bring judgment, like a wind too strong.” ~David Guzik
The Bible is quite clear, because of our sin, we deserved death. Isaiah wrote these words:
“We are all messed up like a person compromised with impurity; even all our right efforts are like soiled rags. We’re drying up like a leaf in autumn and are blown away by wrongdoing. And it’s so sad because no one calls out to You or even bothers to approach You anymore. You’ve been absent from us too long; you left us to dissolve away in the acrid power of our sins.” -Isaiah 64:6-7 (VOICE)
The Apostle Paul reminds us of the fact that if we choose to ignore God, we are headed for death.
“But God’s angry displeasure erupts as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth. But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being. So nobody has a good excuse. What happened was this: People knew God perfectly well, but when they didn’t treat him like God, refusing to worship him, they trivialized themselves into silliness and confusion so that there was neither sense nor direction left in their lives. They pretended to know it all, but were illiterate regarding life. They traded the glory of God who holds the whole world in his hands for cheap figurines you can buy at any roadside stand.” -Romans 1:18-23 (MSG)
We Were Headed in a Downward Spiral.
But…Paul also gives us these words of hope:
“But now that you’ve found you don’t have to listen to sin tell you what to do, and have discovered the delight of listening to God telling you, what a surprise! A whole, healed, put-together life right now, with more and more of life on the way! Work hard for sin your whole life and your pension is death. But God’s gift is real life, eternal life, delivered by Jesus, our Master.” -Romans 6:22-23 (MSG)
Let us remember this admonition, given to Israel from God:
“Do not put the LORD your God to the test.” -Deuteronomy 6:16a (NIV)
“God’s grace is not infinite. God is infinite, and God is gracious. We experience the grace of an infinite God, but grace is not infinite. God sets limits to His patience and forbearance. He warns us over and over again that someday the ax will fall and His judgment will be poured out.” ~R. C. Sproul
My friend, let us be careful of how we walk, let us not test the Lord God. Remember, this, we are all tainted by sin, since birth. We deserved death, but God…God saw our hopeless estate and did for us what we could not do for ourselves. Hallelujah, thank God for His grace and His mercy!
“I tell you the truth: eternal life belongs to those who hear My voice and believe in the One who sent Me. These people have no reason to fear judgment because they have already left death and entered life.” ~Jesus (John 5:24 VOICE)
Adonai Elohim, my Great Lord, thank you for making a way for me to be reconciled with you. I was in fact, a hopeless case. But you God, saw the state of my situation, and you made a way for me, when there was no way, to come home to you. You sent your Son, to pay the price for my sin. I deserved death, but you loved me so much, you had Jesus pay the price that I could not pay. Thank you, Lord, for saving me. Judgement may come, but I know that one day I will stand in the Presence of the One who loved me and save me from eternal death. Thank you!