“From the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, even to this day, these twenty-three years the word of the Lord has come to me, and I have spoken to you again and again, but you have not listened. 4 And the Lord has sent to you all His servants the prophets again and again, but you have not listened nor inclined your ear to hear,” (25:3-4).
Twice this phrase, “again and again,” is spoken by God’s spokesman. And in Jeremiah 11, “again and again” which is actually one word in the Hebrew, is translated in the NASB as “persistently.”
For I solemnly warned your fathers in the day that I brought them up from the land of Egypt, even to this day, warning persistently, saying, “Listen to My voice,” (Jeremiah 11:7).
again and again/ persistent: “7925. שָׁכַם šāḵam: A verb meaning to rise early. It uniformly indicates arising early to do something, often to pack and go on a journey. This procedure is especially appropriate in Israel where the afternoons are extremely hot… The Lord had risen early and had diligently, eagerly spoken to a rebellious people (Jer. 7:13, 25)…” Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance.
And this idea of the need to rise early in order to beat the heat is more than applicable. As the Lord Sends His Word Again and Again, the warning is clear: the heat of His wrath is rising, and everyone is put on notice; turn to Him and turn away from your wicked ways, that His anger would be assuaged.
“saying, ‘Turn now everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your deeds, and dwell on the land which the Lord has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever; 6 and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.’ 7 Yet you have not listened to Me,” declares the Lord, “in order that you might provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm,” (25:5-6).
Sadly, they did not listen and refused to open their ears to His Word. And this lengthy chapter calls everyone into account. Beginning with His chosen people, and extending to the surrounding nations by name, He Sends His Word Again and Again, persistent and patient, desiring that all would listen, that all would repent and turn to Him in faith.
The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance, (2 Peter 3:9).
Consider Him Who Sends His Word Again and Again
- He Sends His Word Again and Again that we would turn away from evil.
“Turn now everyone from his evil way and from the evil of your deeds,”
- The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
Must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.
11 “He must turn away from evil and do good;
He must seek peace and pursue it.
12 “For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous,
And His ears attend to their prayer,
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, (1 Peter 3:10-12).
- The one who desires life, to love and see good days,
- He Sends His Word Again and Again that we would set our desires on His promised eternal provision.
“and dwell on the land which the Lord has given to you and your forefathers forever and ever;”
- But according to His promise we are looking for new heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness dwells, (2 Peter 3:13).
- He Sends His Word Again and Again that we would serve and worship only Him.
“and do not go after other gods to serve them and to worship them,”
- Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and serve Him only,’” (Luke 4:8).
- He Sends His Word Again and Again that we would believe Him and escape His wrath.
“and do not provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands, and I will do you no harm.”
- “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him,” (John 3:36).
- He Sends His Word Again and Again that we would seek to please Him as we believe His Word and trust Him Who rewards our faith.
“Yet you have not listened to Me,” declares the Lord, “in order that you might provoke Me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm.”
- And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, (Hebrews 11:6).
How do we respond to Him Who Sends His Word Again and Again?
Beginning with Judah and then Babylon, I counted at least fifteen surrounding nations that God identified by name. And a scenario began to play out in my mind. Imagine with me for a moment:
We are sitting in church and the pastor shares that God has given him a specific list of names of people who are coming under God’s judgment. And he describes graphically gruesome details of this judgment, and then goes on to read the list; and horror of horrors, our name is on the list. So we leave church thinking, oh, that guy is nuts. But next week, we come back and the pastor again repeats the details and the list, and we hear our name again. And this goes on every week for a year, fifty-two Sundays. Don’t you think we might start to wonder? But then the pastor says something like, if you don’t believe this is the truth, if you don’t believe this is what you deserve and it’s surely coming, if you refuse to take hold of His Truth, there is absolutely no hope.
For thus the Lord, the God of Israel, says to me, “Take this cup of the wine of wrath from My hand and cause all the nations to whom I send you to drink it. 16 They will drink and stagger and go mad because of the sword that I will send among them.”… 27 “You shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, “Drink, be drunk, vomit, fall and rise no more because of the sword which I will send among you.”’ 28 And it will be, if they refuse to take the cup from your hand to drink, then you will say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord of hosts: “You shall surely drink!” (25:15-16, 27-28).
His prophecy would be fulfilled. But for those would believe Him Who Sends His Word Again and Again, if any would take the cup and agree with His Word, acknowledging that His wrath is certainly deserved, if any would listen and turn to Him in repentance and faith, although destruction would come to their nation, their faith would spare them from eternal death.
For that has always been His message; that has always been His persistence in dealing with all people; that has always been the reason He Sends His Word Again and Again, that whoever would listen, whoever would believe, that whoever would come to Him in faith, would have everlasting life.
“Ho! Every one who thirsts, come to the waters;
And you who have no money come, buy and eat.
Come, buy wine and milk
Without money and without cost.
2 “Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And delight yourself in abundance.
3 “Incline your ear and come to Me.
Listen, that you may live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
According to the faithful mercies shown to David,” (Isaiah 55:1-3).
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
And when we listen and believe His Truth, we receive His eternal life, escape His judgment and are sealed for all eternity by His Holy Spirit. And that is His Promise.
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life,” (John 5:24).
In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation—having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, (Ephesians 1:13).
Praise God that we have escaped His wrath if we have believed the message of the gospel and trusted Jesus Christ for our salvation. But as we all know, the tug of the world, the cravings of our flesh and the temptations of the enemy are hard at work to capture our affections.
But He Sends His Word Again and Again through His Holy Scriptures. And while there is pain in this life, if we will live our life in Him by faith and His Words abide in us, we can confidently ask Him to strengthen our faith that we would turn away from evil, set our desires on His promised eternal provision, serve and worship only Him, and seek to please Him as we believe and trust Him to reward our faith.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you,” (John 15:7).
Oh, that we would be diligent to seek to listen to Him every day, paying close attention to every Word He speaks, that we would stay close to Him Who Sends His Word Again and Again.
For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it, (Hebrews 2:1).