Faithless and Unfaithful

(Today's post by Chris Queen)

Jeremiah 3:6-4:31

Unfaithfulness in a marriage or romantic relationship can be devastating. The broken hearts and lack of trust that result can be difficult to heal. It’s such a problem that we use the word “cheating” to describe ruined faithfulness.

In Chapter 3 of Jeremiah, God railed against the two nations that make up the 12 tribes of Israel for their public, unabashed cheating on the God who promised them so many good things:

6 During the reign of King Josiah, the Lord said to me, “Have you seen what faithless Israel has done? She has gone up on every high hill and under every spreading tree and has committed adultery there. 7 I thought that after she had done all this she would return to me but she did not, and her unfaithful sister Judah saw it. 8 I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries. Yet I saw that her unfaithful sister Judah had no fear; she also went out and committed adultery. 9 Because Israel’s immorality mattered so little to her, she defiled the land and committed adultery with stone and wood. 10 In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,” declares the Lord.

In Deuteronomy 30, God laid out what would happen if His people chose to be unfaithful to Him. Jeremiah takes place before the exile, but the Israelites had been warned what would happen and what was coming.

On the flip side, God – through Jeremiah – beckoned His people to return to Him:

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. 15Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.

[…]

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.’ I thought you would call me ‘Father’ and not turn away from following me.20 But like a woman unfaithful to her husband, so you, Israel, have been unfaithful to me,” declares the Lord.

And in Chapter 4, God promised to restore blessings to those who faithfully return:

1 “If you, Israel, will return, then return to me,” declares the Lord. “If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray, 2 and if in a truthful, just and righteous way you swear, ‘As surely as the Lordlives,’ then the nations will invoke blessings by him and in him they will boast.”

Have you drifted away from God? Have you been unfaithful? There’s good news: if you make the choice to turn back to Him, He will always take you back. Return to Him and reap the blessings. His forgiveness is unlimited, and His faithfulness is second to none.

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