The past couple weeks I’ve been studying through Jeremiah 48. It lies in a section of prophecies against foreign nations (foreign to Israel,that is). Last week I learned that Moab’s judgment was brought on by their complacency and ease. They were located in a “safe” region, had become wealthy, and so never felt the pains of the world outside (sound familiar?). As a result of this safety, they grew prideful and God had had enough. He was going to step in and upset their waters. This week I was surprised by what I read.
Up until v.29 of the text you think Moab’s heading to hell without any remorse from heaven. And then v.30 and 31 present a turn: “I know his fury,” declares the LORD, “But it is futile; his idle boasts have accomplished nothing. Therefore I will wail for Moab, even for all Moab will I cry out; I will moan for the men of Kir-heres.” (italics added). God’s weeping continues into v.32 and returns in v.35-37 (v.36 being the key).
What’s the point? Some Calvinists, I think, believe that God delights in sending people to hell since it’s a part of His good pleasure (correct me if this is wrong). But is this really the case? What if God actually cares for sinners, you know, the predestined for hell type. I’m not saying I’m turning Armenian, I’d still say I’m a Calvinist, and I believe that God has predestined our destinies before the “foundations of the world.” But I want to bring this up to challenge the notion that God delights in sending some of His creation into eternal torment. Is it really a delight? What if He loathes it? What if it makes heaven weep to see so many fall into everlasting damnation.
So what? Am I just ranting against this Calvinist notion? Partially. But I believe there’s an application here for Christians as well. I think it’s a healthy reminder that God “so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son, that whoever believes on Him will not perish but have everlasting life.” I also think that it’s healthy to remember that our sin breaks God’s heart. As Petra once sang, “you better think twice.”