Thursday 22 March 2018

Bible Book:

therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” (v. 3)

Jeremiah 31:1-7 Thursday 22 March 2018

Psalm: Psalm 102:12-28


There cannot be any more important biblical affirmation than this: the faithful love of God is without any limits of time and space. Over and over again, the Old Testament compares the fickleness of humanity with God’s steadfast, loving fidelity. God can no more give up on the people of Israel than a parent can give up on a wayward child. In spite of human wickedness and in spite of our experience of pain and neglect, God has not abandoned those who are called by name and precious in God’s sight. Of course, it requires an act of faith to sustain belief in this faithful love when – like Israel in its Babylonian captivity - we have been exiled from all that is familiar and comforting. But for Jeremiah, such a faith is not a foolish dream; instead, it is a realistic hope in the God who never reneges on a promise.

Jeremiah uses a succession of vivid images to express this sense of promise: he compares it to erecting a new building where there have been ruins (verse 4), to dancing in celebration where there has been sadness and mourning (verse 4), to planting new vineyards where there has been wilderness (verse 5), and to a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in place of enforced exile (verse 6).

To Ponder

  • Think of experiences in which you have felt abandoned, and ones where you have found ‘grace in the wilderness’.
  • What images of the renewing power of love would be appropriate for your culture and situation?
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