OVERVIEW: Judah rejects God, despite his faithfulness, and the Babylonians capture Jerusalem.
BIG IDEA: God always supplies hope.
KEY VERSE: 2 Chronicles 36:15–16 (People mocked God’s messengers)
The Lord, the God of their ancestors, repeatedly sent his prophets to warn them, for he had compassion on his people and his Temple. But the people mocked these messengers of God and despised their words. They scoffed at the prophets until the Lord’s anger could no longer be restrained and nothing could be done.
IF GOD WROTE YOU A LETTER
I will bless those who obey me, and I will discipline those who disobey me. Discipline is not harsh. I’m respecting the wishes of those who won’t follow me and giving them precisely what they desire: freedom. If they want nothing to do with me, I release them. You should be more surprised that I continue to invite them back. Just as I did with Israel and Judah, I repeatedly send signs and messengers with words of hope and an invitation to turn to me. And when someone chooses to return, I welcome them with open arms.
Your most shocking discovery should be that I continue to bless those who claim to obey me, even when they don’t. I don’t have each person under a microscope, watching and waiting for them to fail so that I can discipline them. No! I look at their heart. If they disobey and repent, recognizing they were self-centered, I forgive them and bless them. I love all I have created and long for each to be under my wings of care and protection. Live with that hope and share it with others.
Even when it seems like you’re alone and you feel hopeless, God always has a plan. Seek God today and look for his activity. Not just once or twice, but do it throughout your day. Have an ongoing conversation with God, and remind others they can trust in him.