Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jeremiah 3:22–4:2

"'My wayward children,' says the LORD,
     'come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.'
'Yes, we're coming,' the people reply,
     'for you are the LORD our God.
Our worship of idols on the hills
     and our religious orgies on the mountains
     are a delusion.
Only in the LORD our God
     will Israel ever find salvation.
From childhood we have watched
     as everything our ancestors worked for—
their flocks and herds, their sons and daughters—
     was squandered on a delusion.
Let us now lie down in shame
     and cover ourselves with dishonor,
for we and our ancestors have sinned
     against the LORD our God.
From our childhood to this day
     we have never obeyed him.'
'O Israel,' says the LORD,
     'if you wanted to return to me, you could.
You could throw away your detestable idols
     and stray away no more.
Then when you swear by my name, saying,
     "As surely as the LORD lives,"
you could do so
     with truth, justice, and righteousness.
Then you would be a blessing to the nations of the world,
     and all people would come and praise my name.'"
Here is yet another picture of how God feels and what he wants. He wants his wayward children to return to him so he can bless and heal them and save them from the consequences of their sin. True repentance is outlined here: an acknowledgment of sin and trust in God alone. This will result in a character change, so that truth, justice, and righteousness become apparent. It all starts with repentance. What sin might lurk in your life that needs to be confessed as an affront to the God of love?