“Take a scroll of a book and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel, against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah even to this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the adversities which I purpose to bring upon them, that everyone may turn from his evil way, that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.”
Jeremiah has been called “The Weeping Prophet.” An apt title for a man whose heart was broken as he watched the city of God collapse under the weight of Babylonian oppression. But the title fails to tell the whole story of this servant of God. We might also refer to him as “The Hopeful Prophet.” With the rising tide of immorality and the masses turning away from God Jeremiah wrote a message of hope to his nation. This message was a plea for the people to turn away from sin and back to God. His plea included the promise that all who responded would experience the forgiveness of sin.
Forgiveness is a powerful thing. Anyone who has experienced it can testify to the heavy weight that was lifted from them as the offended party reached out their hand as a gesture of acceptance and the chasm that once divided them was finally mended. Biblically speaking forgiveness results in reconciliation between fallen man and a Holy and Righteous God. Our sins that once stained us are washed away and the barrier that kept us from God is forever removed. Jeremiah wrote his message down and delivered to the highest court in hopes that his leaders would hear the message, receive its promise, return to God and begin to lead the nation back to the ways of God.
I think we can learn a lot from The Hopeful Prophet. Too often we become discouraged by the landscape before us. We see the affects of a nation filled with people who mistreat the things of God. Instead of being discouraged we should be filled with a sanctified hope knowing that the message of the gospel has the power to bring a person into relationship with God and that God has the power to transform their life and their daily living.
I often wonder how different our days would be if we left our homes filled with hope that today we might have the opportunity to impact just one life for with the Gospel. Instead of looking at all that is wrong with the world, how about we learn to focus on the message that is able to bring about a change.