THE LORD’S RESERVE
In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the iniquity of Israel shall be
sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not
be found: for I will pardon them whom I reserve. Jeremiah 50:20
Reading through the book of Jeremiah; we see the prophecies which the LORD gave to him, coming to pass, one by one, at the precise time and in the exact manner, in which he said. Multitudes of people from various parts of the world, had to be in the exact place which they needed to be, at those precise moments in order for these things to occur exactly as the prophet declares. Thus it astonishes us that some would opine that such events occur in a random order, according to the whims of men. If there is an order to the universe which we can observe, then we can be certain that the same ONE who put the planets in their respective orbits and established the bounds of the sea that it cannot pass, most surely has ordained that these events must occur according to the good pleasure of HIS will.
The greatest basis of comfort to the sons of GOD is found in HIS immutability. That is a big word which men use to describe what the LORD said quite simply. “For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.” (Mal 3:6) The writer of Hebrews said it like this, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” (Heb 13:8) The unchanging nature of the LORD insures that all of HIS promises must forever stand sure and that the objects of HIS everlasting love can never perish.
In keeping with HIS “immutability”, all things in Heaven and Earth must occur according to HIS sovereign purpose. This fact is never left in doubt in the Scriptures. “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.” (Isa 46:9-
The crowning glory of the LORD’s predestination of all events is HIS revelation of HIS purpose to bring glory to HIS NAME in the redemption of a people which HE has chosen in CHRIST from before the foundation of the world. HE did not choose them out of the whole fallen race of Adam but rather, loved them before they were ever born in Adam. They were in CHRIST before they were in Adam even as the covenant of promise preceded the covenant of Law. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Gal 3:16) The promise came by and through JESUS CHRIST to all who were in HIM from the beginning of the world. “He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one.” (Mat 13:37-
The LORD told Jeremiah that HE would surely destroy Jerusalem and enslave those whose life was to be spared by Nebuchadnezzar, King of the Babylonians. HE also said that HE would bring destruction upon the nations surrounding them, and that ultimately HE would completely destroy Babylon. None of this failed to occur precisely according to HIS ordained purpose.
All of these events occurred, in order that HE might demonstrate that “Salvation belongeth unto the LORD.” HE would manifest the truth that: no one can deliver himself from HIS hand and that no one could find deliverance except according to HIS mercy. HIS hand is not shortened to save by many or by few and that it is HIS sovereign prerogative to destroy the very one which HE ordained to be the destroyer. Who can speak against HIM who made all things for HIMSELF. “Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?” (Rom 9:20)
In the demonstration of HIS judgment and subsequent destruction of the wicked, HE would set the stage in order to magnify the glory of HIS grace in the redemption and salvation of that people which HE reserved for HIMSELF, which were chosen in CHRIST from before the foundation of the world. Thus HE would demonstrate HIS unchanging love for those whom HE calls, “a Holy Nation”; “a peculiar people”, “a remnant”, and the “redeemed of the LORD.”
“In those days and in that time.” Though this redemption has long been accomplished according to HIS purpose, yet there is a particular time when HE would apply it to those people whom HE calls by name. It is a glorious thing to read of the promise of GOD to save HIS people from their sins, but it is even more glorious when HE is pleased to open a man’s eyes to behold it, not simply as an abstract thought but as that “WELL springing up into everlasting LIFE”, from which he is able to drink and never thirst again. “Sinners, I read, are justified, By faith in Jesus’ blood; But when to me that blood’s applied, Tis then it does me good.” (Joseph Hart, #31 Gadsby’s)
“The iniquity of Israel shall be sought for, and there shall be none; and the sins of Judah, and they shall not be found.” There are many who claim that those who are redeemed shall yet have to answer for their sins, and give an accounting for each one. If that be the case then CHRIST did not “obtain eternal redemption” but merely hoped to mollify the anger of GOD. The truth is that “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psa 103:10-
The LORD told Jeremiah that even a search for the iniquities of HIS elect, would not enable any to be discovered. HE has become sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of GOD in HIM. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: -
“For I will pardon them whom I reserve.” The salvation of the sons of GOD is not a mere commutation of the sentence of death, but rather a full and free pardon from the crimes they have committed, so much so that they are seen by HIM as those who have never sinned. The scripture speaks of this as “justification.” “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified.”(Rom 8:30) HE has not issued this “pardon” by a simple decree (though HE certainly could have) but rather would demonstrate HIS justice as well as HIS grace. HIS justice demands that the sins of men must be paid for. HIS grace demands that those whom HE has “reserved” be pardoned.
Thus HE has sent the LORD JESUS CHRIST into the world as a SUBSTITUTE for that elect people, paying the price for their sin with HIS own blood. “Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.” (Rom 3:25-