The LORD, the God of their fathers, sent persistently to them by his messengers, because he had compassion on his people and on his dwelling place. But they kept mocking the messengers of God, despising his words and scoffing at his prophets, until the wrath of the LORD rose against his people, until there was no remedy.Set in the context of the final days of the Southern Kingdom, the chronicler, in just two verses, sums up not only the condition of Judah, but humanity as a whole. We are a stubborn people who want more than anything to be self-led, self-made, and self-sustained. God sent himself persistently to his people because he had compassion on them because of their hell-bent foolishness and arrogance. Yet, in the face of God's compassion, Judah responded not with repentance, but with mockery and scoffing, not only of God's messengers, but of God himself.
And when the persistent compassion of God is rejected with the persistent rebellion of people, God's wrath rises up against them. And against God's wrath there is no remedy. God's wrath always destroys that which it is set against.
We are Judah. We are the people blessed with God's presence and compassion, yet we are those who rebel, who mock God with our self-led lives, self-made plans, and self-sustained spirituality. We mock God with self-deceived selves. Just like at the fall of Judah, God's wrath has been kindled. Our rebellion has stirred God's unstoppable, irrevocable wrath.
What are a guilty people to do? Begging cannot produce righteousness. What are we to do? We wait on the Lord.
The prophet who was mocked and derided by Judah foretold of another who would come, who would be mocked and derided, rejected and disregarded. He would stand in the path of the irrevocable, unstoppable wrath of God, and he would be, as all things in that path are, destroyed.
Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: “The LORD is our righteousness.” - Jeremiah 33:14-16The righteous Branch does not beg. He executes justice through his own execution. Not only has he received our punishment, he has been and will always be our righteousness. Justice has been done, the penalty for sin has been paid. The Lord Jesus is our righteousness.
We, foolish Judah, have been set free, and along with our redeemed brother Paul, can rejoice, "For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."