Everlasting Reproach; Perpetual Shame; Perfect Memory

15 Jul

Hello again!

This is what God gave me today in his word:

And I will bring upon you everlasting reproach and perpetual shame, which shall not be forgotten.'” (Jeremiah 23:40)

If you look a little further back you’ll find that the reason for this was that all the other prophets in Jeremiah’s time were prophesying falsely, “shepherds” were leading God’s “sheep” away, and people were stubbornly following ‘their own path.’ and God basically said ‘I’ve had enough.’ So in that light, does that mean everyone who is stubborn will always be remembered for that, have reproached for it continually, and end up with everlasting shame? Well let’s see how Paul addresses this:

1 It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? (1 Corinthians 5:1-2)

A man commits incest, and then brags about it possibly leading to other’s falling astray, if that’s not following your own path instead of God’s I don’t know what is. Granted he did it out of ignorance, he didn’t know according to Paul’s letters up to this point that it was wrong. Even so, even if you’re an immoral wretch (pagan, etc) one would think you would know that was wrong. Anyway, Paul addresses this matter as God addressed it in Jeremiah, reproach him, put him to shame (by putting him out of the church), and remember it always. Right?

5 If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. 7 Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. (2 Corinthians 2:5-8)

It seems to me like Paul is perhaps treating this case differently then God did, at first he said the man was to be reproached, and put out, but it seems he has forgotten the last step; to always remember and never forgive what has happened. Why would Paul, of all people, forget such a basic step as remembering the sin. For that matter, he broke the first two steps as well! He didn’t add the “everlasting” bit or the “perpetual” bit, what’s going on here? Could it be perhaps, that between Jeremiah’s time, and the time Paul wrote this letter that something drastic had changed in his life?

21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify.22 This righteousness is given through faith in[a] Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

What reproach is left for us? What shame wasn’t put onto Jesus at the cross? Christ’s becoming sin (for us) will be remembered for all time, yet because of the same act, my sins have already been washed away in his blood. – I suggest you quickly read Romans 6 at this point – There is simply nothing left for us, but the everlasting, perpetual, and perfect love of God our heavenly father.

You are loved!

Joshua Cleveland


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