Through the Bible Day by Day
At the same time, saith the LORD, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
Jer_2:1-8; Jer_26:1-24; Jer_27:1-22; Jer_28:1-17; Jer_29:1-32; Jer_30:1-24; Jer_31:1-40; Jer_32:1-44
God regarded Israel as His bride, who had responded to His love, or as a vineyard and cornfield which were expected to yield their first fruits in response to the careful cultivation of the owner. Why had they failed to respond? For the answer let us question our own hearts. What marvels of perversity and disappointment we are! Who can understand or fathom the reason of our poor response to the yearning love of Christ! The heathen, in their punctilious devotion and lavish sacrifices at their idol-shrines, may well shame us. The root of the evil is disclosed in Jer_2:31. We like to be lords, to assume and hold the mastery of our lives. But God has been anything but a wilderness to us. He has given us ornaments, and we owe to His grace the garments of righteousness which He has put on us. In return we have forgotten Him days without number, Jer_2:32. Let us ask Him to call us back-nay more, to draw us by the chains of love.
SHEPHERDS THAT MISLEAD GOD’S FLOCK
Jer_23:1-12; Jer_23:1-40; Jer_24:1-10; Jer_25:1-38; Jer_26:1-24; Jer_27:1-22; Jer_28:1-17; Jer_29:1-32; Jer_30:1-24; Jer_31:1-40; Jer_32:1-44
It is God’s purpose to care for His people through shepherds (pastors) who are responsible to Him. Jesus our Lord is the Branch into which we may be grafted. He is our King who saves us and clothes us with His own spotless righteousness. God finds us in Him, Php_3:9. Because He reigns, we are saved and dwell in safety. When we are brought into contact with false shepherds, whether the failure be in doctrine or example, let us ask for the broken heart of Jer_23:9.
God is everywhere present; as the latter paragraph indicates, He is near at hand to overhear the blasphemy of those who deride religion, and to be a very present help in time of trouble. If He fills heaven and earth, can He not fill thy heart? If His Word is like fire, let it cleanse thee! If it is as a hammer, let it pulverize thy pride! Let those of us who essay to teach and preach, not steal our words from our neighbors, or utter our own, but receive them from the source of all truth.
15-34, AN EVERLASTING LOVE
It is all-inclusive: all the families of Israel. It is patient under provocation: during forty years it bore with Israel. It has a drawing-power which overcomes our obduracy. It longs to restore the old joyous confidence and freedom: thou shalt go forth in the dances of them that make ready. It will never rest till it has broken down misunderstandings and alienation, so that even Ephraim shall propose to worship at Mount Zion. It meets the heart: they shall come with weeping. It sets the blind by rivers of waters, and the blind and the lame in a straight way. The effect of such love is still further described in Jer_31:18-19 we bemoan our sins with profound remorse. These words, which were so sweet to the prophet, Jer_31:26, are yet to be fulfilled; but in the meantime the covenant is for us all and each one may claim the fulfillment of the I wills of Jer_31:33-34. See Mat_26:28; Heb_8:8.