God’s grace can be seen throughout the Old Testament. The way to escape judgment is always the central theme of the stories of destruction in the Bible. The way of escape for Noah was to believe God. The way of escape for Lot was to believe 29 ray of hopeGod, the way of escape for the Israelites in Egypt was to believe God. Even for Rahab the way of escape was to believe God. The way of escape for Abraham was to believe God. The major theme is not the destruction of the wicked, but the salvation of the faithful. In every story, including the coming destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians Jeremiah proclaims the way of escape and calls his people to believe God. In the end, the story is not about those who didn’t trust God but it’s about those who did. In Jeremiah 4:27, there is the promise to the believer once again. Jeremiah says, “For thus says the LORD, ‘The whole land shall be a desolation; yet I will not make a full end.’”

God refused to see Noah and his family destroyed in the flood. God refused to allow Lot to perish at Sodom. God protected those in homes with the Passover blood over their doorposts. God refused to let Rahab be destroyed in Jericho. In every destruction scenario there are those who believe and are delivered. There is always a ray of hope. God presented it to Adam & Eve in the garden with the promise of a coming deliverer. Noah preached it for 100 years. Moses offered it to all Israel and even to Egypt if they would believe God and apply the blood. Jeremiah cried out for his people to hear him and to believe God’s plan and purpose for their lives. Yes there is always the rise of hope in the sky. In his last direct words to the apostle John on Patmos, Jesus spoke of Himself as “the root and the offspring of David, the bright morning star” (Rev. 22:16). There has always been ray of hope in a dark, dying world. There always will be!

The words of coming judgment should not arouse fear in a believer. They should evoke a profound sense of God’s love for us. MacArthur writes, “We have no need to fear the loss of salvation, because our Lord assures us of our perfect and absolute security in Him. ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me,’ He said; ‘and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand’ (John 10:27–28). ‘He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them’ (Heb. 7:25). We have no need to fear death. ‘Because I live,’ Jesus said, ‘you shall live also’ (John 14:19). Every believer can say with Paul, ‘To me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain’ (Phil. 1:21).”[1]

[1] John F. MacArthur Jr., 2 Timothy, MacArthur New Testament Commentary (Chicago: Moody Press, 1995), 57.