“Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD, “And not a God afar off?” “Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jeremiah 23:23, 29)
In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. God is close at hand. He sees all the stuff that we do that breaks His Law. He sees all the times when we do something that He doesn’t like. It’s not just that He knows it. He’s there when we do it! “Am I a God near at hand,” says the LORD, “And not a God afar off?” We can’t escape from His presence for “in Him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28). He doesn’t just see our actions, hear our words, but He also knows our thoughts. He knows and sees and hears every time we love ourselves more than others, more than Him, and every wicked thought that we keep secret so no one finds out how screwed up we really are.
Against all that stuff the Lord speaks a Word: “That is worthy of hell. My Spirit shall not strive with man forever. You have done what is evil in My sight. You must be cast out. You will perish in your wickedness, and anyone who says otherwise is wrong. I shall carry out My judgment against you. Is not My word like a fire? And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?”
The Lord is true to His Word. He will not back down. Repent. The Lord says, “He who has My Word, let him speak My Word faithfully.” It is spoken faithfully—by the Lord Himself! “My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?” “It is finished!”
The fire and hammer of God’s wrath and Law came down on Jesus Christ. He spoke His Father’s Word faithfully. He sets us free from the curse of the Law. He became sin—became the curse for you. God’s wrath was poured out on every idle word, everything we’ve done that we’re ashamed of. Jesus is the one who bore it for you. He’s saved you from it. The Spirit enlivens you to live a life pleasing to God. He does this through the Word which says that the God who sees all, hears all, knows all, and can’t forget does so because of Jesus. You’ve had it washed over you, absolved over you. Truly, “I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” (Jeremiah 31:34). In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
To Jesus we for refuge flee, Who from the curse has set us free, And humbly worship at His throne, Saved by His grace through faith alone. (The Law of God Is Good and Wise, LSB 579:6)