Day 15: Are There Limits to God's Patience?

When the LORD could no longer endure your wicked actions and the detestable things you did, 

your land became an object of cursing and a desolate waste without inhabitants, as it is today.

Jeremiah 44:22, NIV 


We don't like to think about such things as this. We like to think that God has unlimited patience, and that He will never actually bring upon us the punishment that our wickedness deserves. We think this, because we forget...


We forget that God actually did send the flood that wiped out all but six of the earth's inhabitants, because they would not repent. We forget that God wiped out all of Sodom and Gomorrah's inhabitants except for three, because they would not repent. And we often forget that God allowed Jerusalem, the beloved city of His chosen people, to be besieged, overthrown and burned to the ground, because they would not repent.


Today many people do not believe that there is an end to God's patience. They believe that God will allow us to sin in whatever way we wish, and even though He warns us of punishment, that He never really will. In their madness, they have taught of unconditional grace and love that will not even allow God to keep His word about Hell. In fact, many so-called religious scholars today don't even believe in Hell. They just think it is something that Jesus made up to scare us.


This is one of the reasons that we study the prophets. They do indeed reveal that God's love is vast. They reveal that He does abound in grace and mercy. They teach that He is always willing to accept His people when they return to Him in repentance... but they also teach that there is a limit to God's patience! That is why He destroyed the earth with a flood, Sodom and Gomorrah with fire, and Jerusalem with a siege that was so horrible it left its inhabitants eating their own children before the city was finally destroyed.


And they taught something else: They taught that God does love us - so much in fact that the New Testament prophets revealed that He would give His only begotten Son for our sins! But He put a condition on that love... He commanded that we repent and live for His Son!


Are we learning the lessons of the prophets? Are we obeying the conditions that God has put on our salvation? Or do we even believe that God will keep His promise when He reveals that there will be a punishment someday for those who refuse to return to Him in His way? It is something to think about, isn't it?


Again and again I sent My prophets who said, "Do not do this detestable thing that I hate."

But they did not listen or pay attention; they did not turn from their wickedness or stop burning incense to other gods.

Therefore, My fierce anger was poured out; it burned against the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem

and made them the detestable ruins they are today.

Jeremiah 44:4-6, NIV


Today is day 15 of the 30 day challenge to read through the books of the prophets of God, with Jeremiah 39-46 being the reading for today. May God richly bless you as you hear His warnings and turn to Him in love and obedience!