Wednesday 10 March 2021

Bible Book:

'Return, faithless Israel,' says the Lord. 'I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful,' says the Lord. (v. 12)

Jeremiah 3:11-18 Wednesday 10 March 2021

Psalm 103


We started the week with anger. Yesterday was about hurt and betrayal. Today there is an offer of restored relationship. In the first half of this passage, God repeatedly calls the faithless people to return (verses 11 and 14) and assures them that “I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful” (v. 12). God always offers us a return ticket – but we must make the choice to turn around and go back.

The second half of the passage describes the life which is on offer if the people return. God says: “I will give you shepherds after my own heart who will feed you with knowledge and understanding” (v. 15). God recognises that sheep who have gone astray need shepherds to guide and lead them. These shepherds will feed the people both by teaching them to know and understand God and helping them to grasp that God knows and understands them.

The important message here is that God gives and God feeds. We turn – or return – to God, because we are hungry for what God offers. I am reminded of a verse from one of Fred Pratt Green’s hymns:

When at your table, each time of returning,
vows are renewed and our courage restored,
may we increasingly glory in learning
all that it means to accept you as Lord.                       

From Fred Pratt Green's "Lord, we have come at your own invitation" (Singing the Faith 595).
© Stainer & Bell Ltd, London, Used by permission. All rights reserved.


To Ponder:

  • What does it mean to be faithless?
  • If you could choose two verbs to describe what God does, what would they be?

Merciful God, when I am angry or trusting in my own strength, unclench my fists so that I can receive what you give. Amen.

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