“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (Jeremiah 33.3)
Recently, we were involved in a demolition project. Our plan was to remove enough of the structure to safely collapse it. But when it fell sooner than we thought one of our crew was still inside. A piece of falling wood struck him, sending him to the ground in excruciating pain. He couldn’t move. “Call 911!” someone said. Within minutes the fire department arrived, then paramedics, then the police.
Some calls are more desperate than others. Some are motivated by fear; some by anger; some by love. When trouble comes, the person we call says much about our values. We call someone who can really do something.
For generations the children of Israel had been making the wrong call. They had been calling out to the gods of the nations whom the LORD had driven out of the land of Canaan. Even though God had said that He would have no other god before Him, they paid no attention. The names of other gods were on their lips.
Finally, judgment had come. God brought the Assyrians to take captive the northern kingdom and the Babylonians to remove the southern kingdom. The gods they had called upon had proven impotent and incompetent. The children of Israel were finally in a place where they would listen. Whom would they call now?
It is interesting that at the time the Word of the LORD came to Jeremiah to pronounce judgment, it also came to pronounce comfort. The people were suffering the consequences of their actions now, but God would certainly deliver them later. At a time when God would have been fully justified to say, “You made your bed; now sleep in it;” instead He said, “Call me, and I will answer you.”
There is simply no other way to look at it: God wants to hear from the people He created. Since we have all been made in His image, He wants to hear from all of us. True, this promise was made to the captives of Judah and Israel, but in Christ God reaches out to all people.
“And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.” (Acts 2.21)
God delights in saving and answering those who call upon His Name. You may feel that you are far, far away from God. You may feel that you only call upon Him when you are desperate. You may be suffering the consequences of your choices. You may think that He has abandoned you. None of these things ultimately matter. In fact, one or all of them may have been necessary to get you to the point where you know that you need His help. He has been waiting patiently for your call.
There is more: not only will He answer you, but also He will show you great and mighty things that you do not know. Our big problem is that we think we know best what we need, but God knows what we need before we ask (Matthew 6.8). Often God’s answers are quite different from what we expect. Therefore, He shows us great and mighty things that we don’t know but that we need to know. Do you believe this?
Let us really take God at His Word and do what He says. We’ve tried it our way. Now we’re stuck in the muck. God stands willing, as a loving Father, to help us out, to redeem our failures, and to show us the way to eternal life. All we have to do is to make the call.
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