And I brought you into a plentiful land
to enjoy its fruits and its good things.
But when you came in, you defiled My land
and made My heritage an abomination. Jeremiah 2:7
How many times are we guilty of the same thing? How many times does God rescue us from Egypt and deliver us into the Promise Land?—How many times are we in trouble and we cry out to be rescued, but once we are, we forget the One who rescued us, and return to our lives, and do what we want to do, as we leave God on the back burner?
You have played the whore with many lovers;
and would you return to Me?
declares the LORD. Jeremiah 3:1b
“For my people are foolish;
they know Me not;
they are stupid children;
they have no understanding.
They are ‘wise’—in doing evil!
But how to do good they know not.” Jeremiah 4:22
“Hear this, O foolish and senseless people,
who have eyes, but see not,
who have ears, but hear not.
Do you not fear Me? declares the LORD.
Do you not tremble before Me? Jeremiah 5:21-22a
God is furious with the people of Israel. For generations they have abandoned His commands, lived gluttonous lives of constant sin, and became “whores” as they worshiped everything under the sun, from trees to rocks to the sun itself. God is angry for He hates sin. He detests it. Sin is antiGod; therefore, He can have nothing to do with it. That is why He brings an enemy from the North to punish His people. He must discipline them, just as a father punishes a disobedient child. Only once does His people cry out for Him—but only because they are suffering from hungry stomachs and parched throats from a famine, and not because they are truly repenting. Even as they suffer, they refuse to give up their sinful ways, and restore God as the king of Judah.
“‘Return, faithless Israel,
declares the LORD.
I will not look on you in anger,
for I am merciful,
declares the LORD;
I will not be angry forever. Jeremiah 3:12
And yet, in the middle of His anger, in the midst of His promises of His coming wrath, He offers mercy.
He asks the people again and again to repent-repent-repent! Yet they do not listen. He gives them prophets and warnings, but they are a stiffed necked people who have harden their hearts harder than stone. (Yet how many times are we guilty of the same thing? How many times are we caught up in a sin that we enjoy and He calls out—repent-repent-repent! and we do not listen? Thank God that He is so patient with us, that He is merciful, and does not always give us the punishment that we so rightfully deserve)
“Behold, I will pluck them up from their land, and I will pluck up the house of Judah from among them. And after I have plucked them up, I will again have compassion on them, and I will bring them again each to his heritage and each to his land. Jeremiah 12:14b-15
God is love. Usually, when we think of the God of the Old Testament, we think of an angry, judgmental God who punishes those who disobey Him, by raining down fire and brimstone, or by punishing them with plagues, or by having the earth swallow them up. But we forget that He is the same God who died on the cross for us in the form of Jesus. God is immutable—He does not change (Malachi 3:6). He is the same God in both the Old and the New Testament, and Him offering mercy in the midst of His wrath, is proof of this. That though we sin, that though we make mistakes, He will forever love us. In fact, He loved us so much, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16.