God’s Sovereign Yet Gracious Response to Sinners
Jeremiah #60. An exposition of Jeremiah 48:1-47. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, June 28, 2009.
Sermon Outline »
Balance is a tricky thing. Ever since I had my tumor removed in ’95 I’ve had problems with balance. When I’m on any incline – I’m in trouble. I got on the roof of my house once – I very quickly took a seat and started clinging to the roof. Now this problem with balance is not a new thing with me I’ve never been “steady” on my feet. In elementary school in gym class I remember the balance beam. Of course the balance beam they used was maybe and inch or two off the ground but it might as well have been twenty feet I wasn’t staying on it anyway. You would think that with my naturally “low center of gravity” it would not be a problem but it is. Listen to the dictionary definition of balance: an even distribution of weight enabling a person to stay upright and steady; stability of one’s mind or feelings; in sailing the ability of a boat to stay on course without adjustment of the rudder; a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. Balance is critical in so many ways but perhaps one of the most important areas of balance is in theology. Theology is our “speaking about God.” I recognize that we are frail children of dust and thus we are in constant struggle with theological balance but when we are unbalanced we present a warped, perverted view of God. That is why it matters. As we explore the 48th chapter of Jeremiah this evening I want us to see the balance in this passage. We are in that section that deals with God’s judgment of the nations that runs from chapter 46 through chapter 51. It is an international roll call of God’s enemies. This evening we explore his judgment of Israel’s wayward cousin Moab.
Text: Jeremiah 48:1-47
Moab was the son of Lot by incestuous union with his eldest daughter the whole sordid story is found in Gn. 19:30-38. The eldest daughter gave birth to Moab the father of the Moabites and his younger daughter gave birth to Ben-ammin who was the father of the Ammonites. If you are familiar with the biblical narrative you know that both of these peoples were a long standing problem with Israel and Judah.
As God speaks through Jeremiah what becomes clear is…
Thesis: God’s sovereign judgment of and yet His gracious response to sinners.
These are two sides of the same coin. God is holy, just and righteous. He cannot allow the guilty to go unpunished. His holiness demands judgment on sin. This is why God says, “I will by no means allow the guilty to go unpunished.” To wink at sin or to merely overlook it would be a denial of his person. He is just. He is righteous. He is holy. Therefore sin must be dealt with. Yet He is also gracious, loving, merciful and forgiving. So this holy God provides a way by which His righteous demands are met and yet salvation is granted. This is what the gospel is all about. Righteousness and mercy meet at the cross. Holiness is satisfied and mercy is granted through the work of Christ. That’s not just a New Testament truth and is a Bible truth. Let’s look at our text and consider three things.
- We must note the absolute terror of God’s sovereign judgment.
- God’s judgment is His righteous response to wicked behavior.
- Even in judgment God loves the sinner and offers hope.
This is the balanced portrait of our God – fierce and terrifying in His judgment of our wicked ways and yet loving and merciful to sinners.
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