Jeremiah 26:13 Therefore now amend your ways and your doings, and obey the voice of the LORD your God; and the LORD will repent him of the evil that he hath pronounced against you.
I have been watching a movie on Netflix called CT Fletcher: My Magnificent Obsession. It is about a powerlifter who has open heart surgery to replace a failing heart valve. After the surgery, he becomes so weak and loses so much weight former friends barely recognize him. His doctors tell him that he cannot go back to lifting, for if he does, it will ultimately kill him, but he cannot resist the siren song of the iron and goes back arguing that he would rather die doing something he loved than die watching TV. The essential theme is that real strength comes from overcoming obstacles whether it be open heart surgery or something else. And the sub theme is that if CT Fletcher, who on the operating table flatlined three times, can drag his sorry ass into the gym then frankly you have no excuse for not training.
Be that as it may, for the purposes of the above verse, the most pertinent part of the story is CT Fletcher’s legendary pre-surgery diet. People would often watch him eat his famous lunch of four Big Macs, four fries, two strawberry shakes, and four apple pies. As stated in the movie, he had the same lunch for twenty plus years. His doctors told him if he did not “amend his ways” his heart would fail and he would die, and that is just about what happened.
We do not like to think of God in such ways. That is, we do not like to think that God will bring judgment to a disobedient person or a disobedient nation, but that is what the Bible teaches over and over again. At the time of Noah, the earth was destroyed because “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and very imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually;” Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because of sexual immorality and perversion; the Israelites were brought into captivity because of idolatry; Jezebel was cast from a window and eaten by dogs because of idolatry, etc. Often things do not turn out well for people who flout the Word of God.
It is true that in this world sometimes wicked people prosper, and this is always a challenge. How could a loving and righteous God allow the wicked to prosper? The answer is found in the Luke 16, the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Luke 16:22 And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; 23 And in hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24 And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame. The scales of justice are going to be balanced one way or the other – either in this life or the life to come.