Thursday, February 1, 2018

Scripture to Meditate On

Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, “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

Here are some things to notice about this verse.

First, it's a promise, a promise of forgiveness. How gracious. But it's also a command. Note the imperative: 'Return'. The first reason for repentance of sin is obedience to God's command. That means that repenting of our sin isn't optional, something that can wait for when we feel like it. God commands it.

Second, even in the midst of this expression of grace, God does not minimize sin. He calls to 'faithless Israel'. This takes nothing away from the graciousness of the calling. Actually, it heightens it. God offers forgiveness even in the face of our wicked unbelief.

Last, God's saying that He 'will not be angry forever' means that at that moment He was. And that makes sense. His people had given themselves to faithlessness. They were refusing to believe Him. God's anger is appropriate. But He promises to replace the anger with forgiveness. What an amazing expression of His mercy.