Discover His heart: He patiently waits for His long-lost children to return home, not wanting any to be lost
There’s little that concerns me more than waiting for my husband or children when they’re late returning home. I’ve never considered myself highly imaginative, but in moments like this, I surprise myself. I imagine accidents and breakdowns, degenerates and aliens, all converging on my loved ones. Help! Even when I know everything is fine, I just want them home, safe and sound. Regardless of the anticipation I feel on these occasions, I really can’t begin to imagine the longing that our Father has for His long-lost children to come home, but one thing I am certain of is that He’s waiting for them.
Jeremiah opened his book with this declaration from God, “I will certainly carry out all my plans,” (1:12), and by the last chapter of Jeremiah, He did just that. Jeremiah 46 records the beginning of pronouncements from God against the countries surrounding Israel. Powerful Egypt met its doom and was ultimately consumed by the Babylonians. The following chapters continue with many other indictments on nations, including Israel itself. The futures of Philistia, Moab, Ammon, Edom, Damascus, Kedar, Hazor, Elam and Babylon were not rosy.
It’s interesting that the Moabites and Ammonites, who had long been contentious with Israel, were actually descendants of Abraham’s nephew, Lot, and the Edomites descended from Jacob’s twin brother, Esau. All were considered enemies of Israel and had done their best to wipe them out, but their day was coming. God judged them for their pride and their vicious treatment of His wayward sheep, Israel.
At first glance, these chapters in Jeremiah are negative and not uplifting, but with a second look, we can find a tiny bud of hope amongst all the destruction. Although Israel’s sins were many as they copied the idolatry of the surrounding nations, God had made a covenant with Abraham and His eye was on a remnant, a remnant that would turn to Him in their hour of need. He was waiting for them.
@ Jeremiah 50
“My people have been lost sheep. Their shepherds have led them astray and turned them loose in the mountains. They have lost their way and can’t remember how to get back to the sheepfold.” (6) But He would help them. In coming days, Israel returned to their land, weeping and searching for God, “They will bind themselves to the Lord with an eternal covenant that will never be forgotten.” (5) “In those days…no sin will be found in Israel or in Judah for I will forgive the remnant I preserve.” (20)
Israel did return home, they restored their culture and temple, and their sins were forgiven. However, many centuries later they rejected the Messiah because they were so full of their religious ways that they did not recognize Him. Through His Word, we have the promise that one day the Messiah will reign in Israel, and it will be fully restored and forgiven. He is waiting for them.
Jeremiah 50 is a source of hope for me. When things looked so devastating for Israel, God had not given up on them. He found the remnant, the lost sheep of Israel, and brought them home. There are those we love who are lost, and they can’t seem to remember how to get back to the sheepfold. But, the Great Shepherd has not given up on them, and He will find them! (Luke 15:4) While we anxiously wait for the day that the Messiah returns to reign, it is for our loved ones He is waiting. “The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” (2 Peter 3:9) He is waiting for them.
Moving Forward: I pray today, once again, for those I love who can’t seem to find their way to God. I’m so thankful that He is longsuffering and patient and that He loves them even more than I do.
Tomorrow @ Luke 7-8