In those days, at that time,” declares the Lord, “search will be made for Israel’s guilt, but there will be none, and for the sins of Judah, but none will be found.~Jeremiah 50:20 NIV
I once searched for snakes…poisonous ones.
Why searching for snakes as a teenager intrigued me, I’m not sure. Perhaps I wanted to brag to my peers about my dangerous missions. Acceptance, you know. That thing we all look for from the earliest of ages. I certainly didn’t want to find a poisonous snake. I was actually a little scared of snakes. At least, if they saw me before I saw them.
So a friend (who was as crazy as I was) and I donned our lose-fitting clothes and boots, shouldered our guns, and set off for swamps and other areas where we were likely to encounter those slithering serpents. Fortunately, we never found any, although I have found a number of them when I wasn’t looking for them. My searches proved fruitless.
I also remember the time when, as a young lad, I bounced three rubber bouncy balls in my grandmother’s house. The kind once sold from gumball machines that normally perched near the exit of grocery and retail stores. The kind that would catch a young fella’s eye, making him tug at a grandparent’s trouser leg or shirt sleeve and beg for a penny or a nickel which he would then insert into a slot, turn the knob, and relish over what came out. And I bounced all those balls simultaneously and watched them scatter. I searched my grandparents’ home more than once. I never found them.
And then there was my oldest grandson’s fedora. He loved wearing one like his Pop. But somehow he misplaced it. We searched our house; our daughter searched hers. Nothing. Not until I took the bed apart one day to erect a new bed frame did I find it nestled under the bed. I placed it on one of the headboard poles, knowing he would get it the next time he came. By this time, he had moved eleven hours away to another state. Sure enough, when he visited, he went immediately to the room and snatched up his hat.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.~Romans 8:1 NIV
Jeremiah wrote to God’s people who at the time lived in Babylonian captivity—far away from their native land. He told them of a day when they would return to their promised land. And when they did, they wouldn’t disobey God anymore. They would have learned their lesson. A futile search would be made for their guilt.
One thing I’ve found numerous times is guilt. The thing I feel when I’ve done, said, or thought something I shouldn’t have. Something God has forbidden. But although I’ve found it, I don’t live with it. Feeling guilty over an action or a wrongly spoken word and living with guilt constitute two different things.
Others may reject us, but we no longer have to search for acceptance. God receives us into His family and calls us His children and friends. Don’t search for or live with guilt any longer. In Christ, you are accepted and loved.
What makes you search for guilt?
Father God, thank You for removing my guilt and giving me acceptance instead.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Copyright 2021: The Search for Guilt: Martin Wiles: All Rights Reserved