Have you ever felt your heart so sad that you thought it would break? This is what Jeremiah faced for five full chapters. That is why, as Jeremiah, we begin to wonder—-is there any good news? Is it all bad news? And there right front and center we see the heart of God.
Jer 5:1 “See if you can find a single person who deals honestly and tries to be truthful. If you can, then I will not punish this city.” Flashback: Return to Gen 18 where we encounter Abraham and the Lord God as they converse about Sodom and Gomorrah. In His mercy he had quietly shared with Abraham: “I must go down and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests, If NOT, I want to know.”
We know that God is omniscient yet He still “wants to know.” And that is because God is a personal God not an arbitrary idol god. Chisolm writes: God always thoroughly investigates a situation before passing judgment and sending calamity. “The Lord would not arbitrarily destroy them [the people of Sodom and Gomorrah]. As a fair and just judge, He would examine the evidence and then reward their deeds appropriately. God does the same for each one of us and it is because God’s character is “compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, abounding in lovingkindness and truth.” It is because His “lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, for His compassions never fail.” [Lam 3] James reminds us that we too are to be “quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.” [James 1]
Thank God for teaching us how to respond according to His character. May we learn to exhibit this same character quality to others.