Scripture: Jeremiah 3:1-15
“O Israel, my faithless people, come home to me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever. Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the Lord your God and committed adultery against him by worshiping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Jeremiah 3:12, 13, NLT).
God compares the idol-worshiping, ancient Israelites to an adulterous spouse. Incredulously the adulterous spouse asks the mate not to be angry and to forgive and to forget. But the adulterous spouse only talks about reconciliation while continuing to stray (v.5). The faithless spouse only pretends to be sorry—after all, there are hard times ahead and the mate has provided in the past (v.10). Although the adulterous spouse never sincerely returns to the mate (v.10), God, the wronged spouse, says, “Come home.” (v.12).
God’s love for us is overwhelming. Despite our rebellious, stubborn, self-centered, and pleasure-seeking lives, God says, “Return. I am merciful.” The only thing that separates us from intimate union with him is our own refusal to acknowledge the sin in our lives. If we confess our sin, listen to his voice, and pursue him, he will even make the first move toward reconciliation–“I will bring you back” (v.14). God even provides the counselors, shepherds after his own heart, who will guide us with knowledge and understanding (v.15). What amazing love!
Father, how great is your love toward us that you seek our return, forgive our transgressions, and heal our wounds. Show me the areas of my life in which I have pretended rather than pursued you. May my repentance be genuine. Guide me to deeper knowledge and understanding of you. Forgive my faithlessness, and knit my heart to yours. In Jesus’ name, Amen.