The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 10/18

Posted on | September 18, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 10/18

Scripture reading: Jeremiah 2:1–13

The Jilted Lover

A Personal Paraphrase of Jeremiah 2–3

Jeremiah, my people just don’t get it. They don’t understand the enor- mity of their sin. So, go and tell my people how I feel. Give this message to the nation of Judah:

I remember how you loved me long ago when we were newlyweds. Sweet memories. When I brought you out of bondage in Egypt, what a special relationship we had! What happened? What did I do to make you turn away from me? Why are you pursuing other lovers? Perhaps I should call them other “losers” because in chasing losers you have became a loser yourself!

Have you forgotten how I cared for you in the desert? how I provided for you, protected you? Don’t you remember how I brought you into the Land of Promise and met all your needs? But you took my best wedding gifts and abused them and used them for your own selfish purposes. All of you are guilty! The whole nation is sick! Prophets, priests, government leaders, every one of you is complicit in this adulterous behavior. We’ve got to talk this out!

Has anything like this ever happened before? Have you ever heard of a nation that turned her back on her god? And yet you have turned your back on me. And I’m not just any old husband, I’m God! I’m the one who created you and blessed you so richly. And now you have run off with . . . with what? Nothings, no-bodies, losers! Your lovers don’t even love you! You’ve committed not one sin but two. On the one hand you have turned your back on me, a well of living water. On the other hand you’ve replaced me with cisterns you dug yourself . . . and they leak! This is incomprehensible.

And now you’re beginning to reap the consequences of your stupid choices, so you think you can come running back to me? I don’t think so! You made your bed, lie in it! Better yet, go ask your lovers for help. Fat chance they will come to your rescue.

You are like a female donkey in heat. Sniffing here and sniffing there, looking for sex, sex, and more sex. Your lust is insatiable. Don’t come crying to me. But the worst part is that you pretend everything is fine between us! “I’ve not done anything wrong,” you so piously say. “I’m a good person. I’m clean. God is not upset. He loves me just as I am.”

You just don’t get it, do you? The stain of your guilt is such that you could wash in lye soap for a month of Sundays and never come clean! The Law of God speaks clearly to a situation like this: A man who divorces his wife cannot remarry her if she has become married to someone else. She is defiled! (Deuteronomy 24:1–4). But since you have turned your back on me you have had more “husbands” than I can count. My own Law forbids me to take you back!

Have you forgotten what happened to your sister Israel? She committed adultery against me, and I divorced her! Those ten tribes up north are now dispersed and gone forever. And your sins are worse than hers ever were! Don’t give me this hypocritical nonsense about wanting to come back to me. You don’t really mean it. You don’t want to have an intimate relationship with me again . . . do you?

Ah, Judah, Judah, I can’t get you out of my heart. How can I give up on you? Come back to me. We can work this out. Just get rid of those lovers and return to me. I can heal your wayward heart. I can cure your backslidings. Come home, please, O faithless one . . . before it’s too late.

Father, I want to know thee, but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. —A. W. Tozer

point to ponder When we sin we not only break God’s law, more importantly we break his heart.

prayer focus Meditate as to whether you love someone or something more than God.

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