A small airplane loaded with cocaine valued at $20 million was intercepted by federal agents as it flew over the Florida coast. Suddenly, bales of cocaine began falling out of the sky. One dropped in a church parking lot. Another hit a housetop. Several others came down in the Everglades.

When the plane landed at a small airstrip near Homestead Air Force Base, four bales of cocaine were still on board. Two men were arrested and charged with offenses that could put them behind bars for the rest of their lives. What irony! Something they thought was so profitable suddenly became so condemning.

The Israelites and their leaders also went after what they thought would be profitable for them—they followed foreign gods (Jer. 2:5). But the Lord told them they were going after “things that do not profit” (v.8), and their own sin was condemning them (v.19). When intercepted by God, they stood accused not so much by Him as by their own actions. They could not elude the eyes of the Lord nor confuse His sense of justice.

The truth is that we all stand guilty before the Lord and in need of His forgiveness. But because He loved us enough to send His Son to die in our place, we can find—before it is too late—the mercy no human court could offer.