Haftarah Portion: Bo (Jeremiah 46:13-28)
Gospel Reading: John 10:27-30
Commentary by: Brian Serrano
The role of a father can sometimes be a perplexing one. On the one hand, a father is to be a comfort in times of sadness or distress. On the other hand, he must be firm in discipline. Daddy’s hands are to be both soft and gentle, yet firm and strong.
From our portion in Jeremiah I think we can clearly see this rings true about our Heavenly Father.
This is the message which the Lord spoke to Jeremiah the prophet about the coming of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon to smite the land of Egypt: (Jeremiah 46:13)
God had heard his children’s cry once again, and out of love for them He tells Jeremiah that He will act. When we are in need of Daddy’s tender love, His hands are soft and gentle. On the other hand...
Jeremiah 46:14-24 is a big list of what God is doing to Egypt. They hurt His kids, and Daddy doesn’t tolerate that. When His hands need to be firm they can be, and they are.
The Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, says, “Behold, I am going to punish Amon of Thebes, and Pharaoh, and Egypt along with her gods and her kings, even Pharaoh and those who trust in him. I shall give them over to the power of those who are seeking their lives, even into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon and into the hand of his officers. Afterwards, however, it will be inhabited as in the days of old,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 46:25-26)
Nothing gentle at all about this. Punishment was going to be dished out. Egypt was going to be turned over to those who wanted them dead. Don’t mess with Daddy.
In the midst of this paradox, however, there is one common theme that runs through it all. There is always love in the Father’s hands.
“But as for you, O Jacob My servant, do not fear, Nor be dismayed, O Israel! For, see, I am going to save you from afar, And your descendants from the land of their captivity; And Jacob will return and be undisturbed And secure, with no one making him tremble." "O Jacob My servant, do not fear,” declares the Lord, “For I am with you. For I will make a full end of all the nations Where I have driven you, Yet I will not make a full end of you; But I will correct you properly And by no means leave you unpunished.” (Jeremiah 46:27-28)
God reassures His children to not fear or be dismayed, because He IS there and He WILL save them. However, let us not think that Israel then, or now, were undisciplined brats. Part of a good Daddy’s love is correction. SO even with this reminder of safety and security comes the discipline of a good Daddy, I will not leave you unpunished. Thankfully, that punishment is for our benefit and growth, not our torture and destruction.
So Daddy’s hands is where we want to find ourselves. Messiah reassures us of this.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one. (John 10:27-30)
Once we respond to that gentle call of The Shepherd’s voice, we are His. Forever His. We find ourselves not only in Messiah’s hands, but in the hands of Daddy too, and no one will get us there. The oneness of Messiah and God the Father are an amazing thing that we can find ourselves in. May we always proclaim the gospel from the rooftops so that people will stop trying to live in this cold, cruel world alone and instead will live life safe in Daddy’s hands.