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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: November 10, 2023

Jeremiah 23

As the prophet Jeremiah shows us, you don’t get rebirth without death. You don’t getmbalm without a wound. You don’t get restoration without destruction. You don’t get the righteous branch of David without the tree of David’s kingdom being cut down and burned over. In other words, if you want the Son of David as your Savior, you need to be saved from something. If you want peace with the Lord who is our righteousness, you need to see the unrighteousness in your own hands.

Throughout the generations, the Israelite people gave themselves over to condemnation, to idolatry, and perversion. Their kings traded faithfulness for pride. Their priests traded sacrifice  for greed. Their prophets traded truth for glory. And the people followed them every step of the way, so the Lord poured out His wrath upon them, destroying their throne, their temple, their city, their nation, leaving them torn apart in the wilderness as a sign of their sinfulness.

And as we look at the world around us, we should see the same thing. Why is our world filled with sorrow and misery? Because that’s the world we built, one where God pours out His wrath by leaving us in the consequences of our actions. We chose to make sacraments of abortion and perversion. We chose to worship money and pride. We traded faithfulness for self-worship, sacrifice for narcissism, meaning for empty, fleeting pleasure. And so here we are, dwelling in the wilderness of chaos and sorrow, loneliness and despair, our families and churches crumbling, our nations tearing themselves apart. What a tragedy. But also, what a great time to see rebirth coming out of death. What a great day to see peace coming forth from war. And we can see that everytime we gaze in faith at the branch of David, the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

As Jeremiah tells us, the name by which David’s Son will be called is “the Lord is our righteousness.” And what a great, simple, direct proclamation of who Christ is. When we were unrighteous, Jesus came to us and became our righteousness. God Himself gave us the righteousness we needed to live with Him forever. With His blood, He poured out upon us the righteousness necessary to bring life out of death, to heal every wound, to rebuild every broken temple and throne. Through His mercy, through His love, Jesus Christ came to you in the wilderness of destruction, rebuilt you with His indestructible righteousness, and brought you home.

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