Jeremiah 3:19 “I myself said,
“‘How gladly would I treat you like my children
and give you a pleasant land,
the most beautiful inheritance of any nation.’
Commit to the Lord and He will give you an inheritance. But do we only return to the Lord because of the inheritance?
Surely not for God knows our hearts and we cannot pretend and lie about our intimate relationship with Him. He knows, just as how He knew Judah was worse than Israel when the former pretended to still have faith in God but in actual fact have strayed far just like Israel had. To God, Judah was worse off because she pretended, unlike Israel who was brazen enough to just go at will and be honest about her desires and intentions.
Friends, the scripture that revealed this story comes from Jeremiah 3. God was upset with His people when they renounced their faith in Him and followed instead their hearts to worship gods they manufactured themselves. God’s heart was acutely hurt because the very sons and daughters prized by Him have chosen to go elsewhere to fulfill their ambitions. Is this right?
In today’s context, the ability to just wander away from God had led us astray to seek for earthly fulfillment dressed in the name of success, obscene monetary gains, overarching material purchases and stepping on everyone’s toes on our way to clamour for the positions we think everyone worships over. Is this right?
To God, these are but our selfish ambitions that although He could fulfill with just a snap of the finger, He would not until we are fully attuned to His ways and character. We are called to be more like Him but in Jeremiah 3, He only wanted us to return to Him as the foremost prerequisite to be His children again.
12 “‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord,
‘I will frown on you no longer,
for I am faithful,’ declares the Lord,
‘I will not be angry forever.
14 “Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband. I will choose you—one from a town and two from a clan—and bring you to Zion. 15 Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.
22 “Return, faithless people;
I will cure you of backsliding.”
- Have your hearts swayed by your personal desires?
- Have your decisions been marred by lopsided intentions?
- Were you going after the throne of your life because everyone is doing it or because God had led you to it?
- Are you sane and sober when you bought that expensive watch, handbag, sports car, luxury home or the holiday to Monte Carlo?
We are Christians in that we believe God has our interest in His hearts when we have Him in ours. It is not a barter trade nor a reciprocal relationship that “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” but more so because we are His children. He wants to protect us from falling and thereby extends a strict discipline to us so we don’t tremble when trouble comes. In fact, when trouble does come, He ensures there’s a barrier surrounding us so we will be protected. It will also keep us strong and remaining steadfast in our steps living on this earth as well as when we live with our loved ones.
And finally, in the scripture it is also said, God will want His backslided children back to Him. Now ponder for a moment, if those whom have rebelled against God and have traversed far away from Him and still despite all the sinful habits that they have cultivated along the treacherous routes, God in the end would still welcome them back, think for a moment what your insistence to be loyal to the Lord will do for you and your life. Will He not honour you with exceedingly greater blessings that only a divine God like ours can impart? Think my friends, think.