Return to God

Daily reading: Jeremiah 31:31-34
Tuesday November 22, 2016

Jeremiah’s prophecy for the first 30 chapters of his book is a negative assessment of Jerusalem’s leaders, how they have sinned and how they have been greedy, how they have exploited the poor and have rebelled against God.  How they had forgotten their high calling to care for the widow, the orphan, and the marginalized.  How they had forgotten the covenant that God crafted with Abraham and Moses and continued to remain unfaithful.
They ruled with self interest in mind, one might say obscene selfishness, with no regard to God or to their subjects.  Out of all the kings that reigned after David, only five in the southern kingdom and none in the northern kingdom were remembered as being even marginally faithful to God.
In chapter three verse 12, Jeremiah is sent to speak to the northern kingdom with these words “Return, unfaithful Israel, declares the LORD.  I won’t reject you, for I’m faithful declares the LORD; I won’t stay angry forever.”
In the deep trauma of exile, God’s heart ached and it had been aching for some time.  Israel was unable to remain faithful despite a number of prophets speaking and performing sign acts to get the message across.
God was relentlessly determined to maintain and restore the relationship God had with God’s people.  In verse 32 we read, “it will not be like the covenant that I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt – a covenant that they broke, though I was their husband.”
This covenant comes about by God’s desire to forget Israel’s unfaithfulness.

Prayer: Gracious God, help me to let go of the things that wound me and keep me from fully experiencing your love and grace.  Amen.

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