This passage has one of my all-time favorite verses in it. I like it because it really shows the heart of our Father.
The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3)
In this chapter, Jeremiah continues to talk about Israel’s future restoration, and you see God’s heart toward his people throughout it. In verses 8-9, God promises to bring his people back. Some would be weeping perhaps in mourning for their past sins, while others would be weeping at the mercy God was showing his people in restoring them. And God said that as they prayed,
I will lead them beside streams of water on a level path where they will not stumble, because I am Israel’s father, and Ephraim is my firstborn son. (9)
Time and again, you see this heart, that despite his children’s rebellion, God continued to love them with an everlasting love.
“I have surely heard Ephraim’s moaning:
‘You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined. Restore me, and I will return, because you are the Lord my God. After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’
Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,” declares the Lord. (18-20)
Then God said to his people,
Return, O Virgin Israel, return to your towns. How long will you wander, O unfaithful daughter? (21-22)
What can we get from all of this? The heart of the Father is such that he never stops loving us. And even if we walk away from him, he never stops waiting for our return.
There’s an old song that I love that expresses that sentiment so beautifully.
The great I AM.
Omnipotent, powerful, awesome Lord.
Commanding King of kings.
And the only time, the only time I ever saw him run
Was when he ran to me, took me in his arms,
Held my head to His chest,
Said “My son’s come home again!”
Lifted my face,
Wiped the tears from my eyes,
With forgiveness in His voice He said
“Son, do you know I still love You?”
He caught me by surprise,
When God ran…
Lord, I thank you that though I fall, though I fail, though I sometimes run from you, you’re always waiting for me to return. I thank you that your love for me never stops. That it’s an everlasting love. Thank you that you not only wait for me to return, but you run to greet me when I come. I love you Lord. In Jesus name, amen.