Rev Nguyen Gia Hien
“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?” (Jer 32:27).
“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD in the tenth year of Zedekiah king of Judah, which was the eighteenth year of Nebuchadrezzar. For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house” (Jer 32:1–2). The Babylonians came to besiege Jerusalem according to God’s sovereign righteous judgement. The LORD used Jeremiah to remind His people that He is the Almighty Creator, who has full power to judge or to bless as there is nothing too hard for Him. Sadly, the leaders and people of Judah did not believe God’s Word, nor fear Him, nor come back to Him in repentance!
The LORD Is the Almighty God, the Creator
God has revealed Himself to humans through His Creation, His Word, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit so that they may know Him, the living and true God, the Creator, who is always sovereign, eternal, unchangeable, almighty, all-knowing, all-merciful, ever-present, holy, just, good, and faithful. Thus, there is nothing too hard for the LORD to fulfil His Word, either to judge unrepentant sinners or to save and bless repentant ones, “Who then can be saved? But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:25b–26). The Holy Spirit revealed the LORD God to Jeremiah so that he could know, trust, pray, and record His Word.
“Ah Lord GOD! behold, thou hast made the heaven and the earth by thy great power and stretched out arm, and there is nothing too hard for thee: Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name, Great in counsel, and mighty in work: for thine eyes are open upon all the ways of the sons of men: to give every one according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings” (Jer 32:17–19).
Surely, no one is able to create the heavens, the earth, the universe and all things out of nothing except God the Almighty. Thus, nothing is too hard for the Lord to do His will and Word, either to judge or to bless. God says, “See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand” (Deut 32:39).
Nothing Is Too Hard for the LORD to Judge
King Zedekiah and the people of Judah did not believe God’s Word of warnings and judgement through His true prophet Jeremiah but listened to the soothing words of false peace from their false prophets. Thus, they did not repent of their sins, transgressions and idolatry nor come back to the Lord to worship and serve Him. King Zedekiah even put Jeremiah in prison. As a result, King Zedekiah and the people of Judah were taken in captivity to Babylon. King Zedekiah was judged before King Nebuchadnezzar, “Then the king of Babylon slew the sons of Zedekiah in Riblah before his eyes: also the king of Babylon slew all the nobles of Judah. Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with chains, to carry him to Babylon” (Jer 39:6–7). Truly, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? Therefore thus saith the LORD; Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the Chaldeans, and into the hand of Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, and he shall take it” (Jer 32:27–28).
Nothing Is Too Hard for the LORD to Bless
God is so gracious and merciful. He faithfully kept His covenant with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David although their children broke the covenant. King Zedekiah and the people of Judah were still in Jerusalem during the Babylonian siege, but God graciously let them know that He would bring their children back to their Land after 70 years of captivity, for there is nothing too hard for the LORD to bless them. To prove His Word and promises, God commanded Jeremiah to purchase the field from his uncle’s son Hanameel, even during the Babylonian siege while Jeremiah was in prison (Jer 32:6–15). At first, Jeremiah did not understand, so he prayed to the LORD, and the LORD confirmed that He would bring the people of Judah back to their Land and put His fear in their hearts to do them good as nothing is too hard for the LORD, “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?... And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Yea, I will rejoice over them to do them good, and I will plant them in this land assuredly with my whole heart and with my whole soul” (Jer 32:27, 40–41).
It is vital for believers to have the fear of the Lord in their hearts so that they may fear Him, worship Him, serve Him, obey Him and depart from sins in repentance, as well as to wholeheartedly seek Him and trust in Him in all things, for there is nothing too hard for Him to help or deliver.
[Ed: The Rev Nguyen Gia Hien is the pastor of Brisbane BPC and Vietnamese BPC in Brisbane, Australia. He will be conferred the Doctor of Religious Education (DRE) degree tonight at the 48th Graduation Service of the Far Eastern Bible College. We congratulate and rejoice with him.]
Rev Errol Hulse
Many a pastor has been destroyed by malicious gossip. This has sometimes come about because the elders were careless or wilfully negligent to obey the command given in 1 Timothy 5:19: ‘Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.’ In other words, there must first be definite proof before a case is even considered. Calvin’s exposition of this text is so helpful that I reproduce it here in full:
Having given instructions about stipends for pastors, he now tells Timothy not to let them be exposed to slanderous attacks or burdened with unsubstantiated and unsupported accusations. It may seem absurd that he should state a law that applies to all men, as if it applied specially and exclusively to presbyters. For God requires in all cases that they should be established ‘by mouth of two or three witnesses’ (Deut. 17:6; Matt. 18:16). Why then does the apostle evoke this law for the protection of presbyters alone, as if it were a privilege peculiar to them, to have their innocence protected against false accusations? I reply that it is necessary to guard against the malice of men in this way. For none are more exposed to slanders and insults than godly teachers. This comes not only from the difficulty of their duties, which are so great that sometimes they sink under them, or stagger or halt or take a false step, so that wicked men find many occasions of finding fault with them; but added to that, even when they do all their duties correctly and commit not even the smallest error, they never avoid a thousand criticisms. It is indeed a trick of Satan to estrange men from their ministers so as gradually to bring their teaching into contempt. In this way not only is wrong done to innocent people whose reputation is undeservedly injured, but the authority of God’s holy teaching is diminished. And it is this that, as I have said, Satan is chiefly concerned to achieve, for not only does Plato’s saying apply here that ‘the multitude are malicious and envy those above them’, but the more sincerely any pastor strives to further Christ’s kingdom, the more he is loaded with spite, the more fierce do the attacks upon him become. And not only so, but as soon as any charge is made against ministers of the Word, it is believed as surely and firmly as if it had been already proved. This happens not only because a higher standard of integrity is required from them, but because Satan makes most people, in fact nearly everyone, over-credulous, so that without investigation, they eagerly condemn their pastors whose good name they ought to be defending. Thus Paul has good reason for preventing such a great injustice, and he says that presbyters are not to be given over to the malice of evil men till they have been convicted by legal testimony.
This principle is of so vital a nature that it should be included in church constitutions and should always be borne in mind during times of stress.
[Source: Errol Hulse, One in a Thousand: The Calling and Work of a Pastor (England: EP Books, 2014), 35–36.]
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