Search for Israel's Iniquity

Today's devotion from Jeremiah 50.It would be easy to focus on Babylon in this reading. It would be easy to note the declaration of war issued by God toward the false gods of Bel and Marduk. It would be easy to point to God's promises of innovation, humiliation, and desolation on that land that had exiled His people. However, instead of focusing on God's treatment of Babylon, see His treatment of Israel. See His description of them as lambs pursued by lions. When we continue to read, we see that God's words aren't just words of punishment. They are words of inexpressible joy and hope. God will restore Israel. He will return them to their land. That's wonderful!

But it is a small matter.

The people will be fully nurtured and sustained in their homeland! They'll be like the fattened cattle of Bashan. They'll feed in the choicest pastures of that land and be sated. Rejoice, Israel!

But that is not the point.

"In those days and at that time—this is the Lord’s declaration—one will search for Israel’s iniquity, but there will be none, and for Judah’s sins, but they will not be found, for I will forgive those I leave as a remnant." (Jeremiah 50:20, CSB)

God will forgive the people of Israel, His people, of all their sins. So completely will they be forgiven by Him that there will be no trace of their iniquity or sin anywhere. No one will be able to accuse the people of failure or spiritual infidelity. No finger will be able to be pointed at them. No word of accusation will stand against them.

None of this will be accomplished by them. They will not have offered enough of the right sacrifices. They will not have given enough money in the temple. They will not have toppled enough pagan high places. No. Their sins will be gone because God will have forgiven them.

I will forgive.

When God takes your sins from you and forgives your trespasses, they are as if they had never been. Yes, it is great to be in the land of promise. It's absolutely wonderful to be cared for and sustained by God's rich blessing. But nothing compares to the peace and joy that one experiences when we are forgiven by Him.