Home > Jeremiah Was a Dragon-Man > Jeremiah Was A Dragon Man: If I Were Judge, I woulda smoked em’!

Jeremiah Was A Dragon Man: If I Were Judge, I woulda smoked em’!

​You shall say, ‘Hear the word of the Lord, O kings of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Behold, I am bringing such disaster upon this place that the ears of everyone who hears of it will tingle. Because the people have forsaken me and have profaned this place by making offerings in it to other gods whom neither they nor their fathers nor the kings of Judah have known; and because they have filled this place with the blood of innocents and have built the high places of Baal to burn their sons in the fire as burnt offerings to Baal, which I did not command or decree, nor did it come into my mind – therefore, behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when this place shall no more be called Topheth, or the Valley of the Son of Hinnom, but the Valley of Slaughter.’
​- Jeremiah 19:3-6

​The judgment of YHWH on humanity is one of those things in Scripture that is frequently a source of discomfort for me, of unease, of frustration. I don’t like it when God, directly or indirectly, wipes out a city full of people. I’m pretty sure it’s a source of discomfort for a lot of people. A God who has died out of love for everyone and yet at times declares responsibility for killing those same people is a confusing deity.

​However, it’s not as if God’s anger is burning because there were a few shirts made with cotton and wool, boiling a goat or two in its mother’s milk, or even because the people of Israel failed to put their heart into offerings to God. He has more profound reasons to be angry. They’re killing innocent people and their own offspring to appease a god made out of wood and stone. Killing people as a sacrifice to a fake god is horrific behavior. What a sick city and woeful world to be a part of.

​When I imagine myself in a city like the one described, if I saw the world through the eyes of Jesus, I would want things to change. I would be praying desperately for YHWH to come in and change things immediately. And if that change meant some people would die and my people would be exiled to stop the death of the innocents, I’d be down for that. I would be crying out for justice to be done, for the Judge to protect the innocents from idolaters.

​YHWH actually takes a lot longer than I would like. He gives them opportunity after opportunity to repent, turn toward Him, and end their lives of injustice. He warns them for generations to repent walk justly, longing for both the victim and perpetrator to drink from the stream of living water. I wouldn’t be as patient. I wouldn’t be as loving. I wouldn’t be as merciful.

​Because I see God’s patience, justice, mercy, and love in passages like this, I also trust Him in other situations where He sends His judgement. If I trust Him, I can trust His actions, even when I don’t understand them. If God is smarter than me, stronger than me, and more loving than me,* then He’s a lot more capable to judge, and in being the judge, bring justice to the world. Trusting God doesn’t mean I’m not confused by Him sometimes, I am, but because He has shown Himself repeatedly to be far more trustworthy than I could ever be, I am free to both seek to understand His actions while trusting His actions are always loving, just, and merciful.

​*And that’s a big “if.”

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