I am currently reading in the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah was a prophet of God. God sent prophets to the nation of Israel to be his mouth piece to them.
But they never listened.
The people were so hardhearted and easily deceived. At this point, the stories of deliverance from Egypt are just that to them: stories. No one in this generation has seen those things. None of them stood at the mouth of the Red Sea and watched God scoop it away with his own hand.
Of course, even those who saw that strayed away.
Yes, how could I forget. Almost as soon as they reached the other side of the sea, they built idols to worship. It all makes me so sad, so angry....
it all reminds me so much of myself.
I keep hearing that little reminder in the back of my mind as I read through the story of Israel. Israel's story is our story. God knew what he was doing when he chose these people to build a nation. He illustrates perfectly in their journey how weak and easily deceived we are and how good, how loving he is.
Jeremiah spends the first portion of his writings warning the people. He pours his heart out to them, pleading with them, even becoming angry at times. He then tells them what the consequence will be for their choice to turn from God. They will face much pain, much sorrow. God is anguished over their betrayal. It is no different than the adultery of lovers. He has promised himself to them, has been faithful, but they turn to another lover. There is hope, though. Right in the middle of Jeremiah, in chapter thirty three, God promises them restoration. He promises redemption, salvation...
He promises Jesus.
Oh, Jesus. He is the answer to our wayward heart. He is the solution to our weak human nature, our betrayal. Israel did not understand because they did not want to understand. Today, we face the same problem they did. We are blinded by our vain pursuits, our selfish ambition while God pleads with us, offers us a way out. So many are deceived, led astray. God's heart breaks over his lost sheep.
I am seeing God's passionate, fierce love for his children in the writings of these prophets. I can almost see the tears pouring down his face, as he tries to bring them back to him. I realize too, that he has done that with me, and he does that with you. He yearns for us, I mean really yearns for us to be in relationship with him. He pleads, cries out, shouts our names above the noise.
"Come back to me!"
I don't know what you have faced in your life. Perhaps you have walked far, far away from the truth. Perhaps you have been wounded by others and have wandered from God because of those wounds. In the end, nothing is to big to separate you from the passionate, fierce love God has for you. For a long time, I thought he stood far from me, did not care to call my name, or bring me close to him. I know now that I was wrong. I know now that he has always been calling me back to him. He has cried over me, moved heaven and earth to be with me,
and he does so for you too.
Don't run from him, like Israel did so long ago. Run to him, it is the only place of safety and rest. He offers restoration, salvation, hope. Let him rescue you from yourself...
Come back to him...
"...you will call upon me and come and pray to me and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you..."