____O LORD, do not your eyes look for truth?
____You have struck them down,
_________but they felt no anguish;
____you have consumed them,
_________but they refused to take correction.
____They have made their faces harder than rock;
_________they have refused to repent. (Jer 5:3)
How “soft” is your “face” today?
When we’re guilty of sin, God wants us to feel anguish, for our own good. In the absence of anguish, we continue to aimlessly wander farther and farther away from the Source of life. Left to our own devices, we will stumble and stagger all the way to eternal separation from him.
And so he straightforwardly tells us in his revelation to mankind that he is willing to strike us down. He is able to consume us. And he does so, at varying times and in differing ways to get our attention, before it is eternally too late.
God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? (Heb 12:7-9)
Discipline and reproof and correction are God-ordained gifts for our good. But like Abraham’s descendants of old, we can “refuse to take correction.” We can make our faces “harder than rock.” We can “refuse to repent.”
Here’s the fundamental question: is the benefit worth the cost?
Is being hardheaded with your spouse getting you anywhere? Is ignoring the constructive criticism doing you any good? Is the resentment you feel at the one who cared enough to correct really worth it? Is turning your back on the truth leading to happiness with a clear conscience? Is forsaking the ranks of the redeemed for the shadows of the Serpent as fulfilling as was originally promised? Will it last?
Life has a curious way of unraveling when we ignore the will of the Giver of life and refuse to acknowledge our need for him.
As long as my life lasts, I have the opportunity to soften my face in repentance. To say that I’m sorry. To admit that I’m at fault. To acknowledge that there’s no one to blame but myself. To penitently come back to my heavenly Father on his gracious terms. Most of us need to soften our faces far more often than we actually do.
Take a long look in the mirror today. Is your face harder than rock because your heart has been hardened by sin? What good is on the horizon if you refuse to repent?