“Discipline is coming and it’s of your own doing My child” says God. What happened to Israel and awaits Judah rose from their own sins. But God has a plan for redemption.
I’m going to admit that verse one has me scratching my head. Did God “divorce” Israel? Who would be the “mother” God is speaking of? He says that their “mother was sent away” (verse 1c). I recognize it is a metaphor but I’m not following all of it.
I do recognize Israel and Judah being “sold” into slavery. It wasn’t for some debt God owed but for the offences/sins/transgressions of the people and nation. Discipline, correction, and judgment was due. The wages of sin is death and separation from God. He had been holding off this recompense for a LONG time; waiting for the people to actually change. Waiting until the balance became so high that there was nothing else that could be done to correct the problem. I suppose it is the same with the “divorce.” The limit had been reached. HARD consequences would be the ONLY thing to get their attention.
When God “came” and “called”, there was no one righteous to answer. None to stand up for Him. He could pull those who answered His call from the upcoming judgment. He has the power to save even the one!
He would in fact save those who called on Him during Israel and Judah’s time of recompense. There would be those that went into slavery with the rest of the people who would point towards God, even in the midst of the fire. They would be a beacon for the Lord. They would draw even their captives to the knowledge of the God of Israel.
Even with the scattered beacons in the dark places, the people would need more. Their sin had brought them low. They could not get back on their own. Some were content to adopt the gods of their captors as their ancestors had done in Egypt. They would need ripped away from these or purged from those who returned. I wonder if ANY returned to the land of Israel from captivity that didn’t desire to serve their God. I know there were problems motivating the people to rebuild the walls and the Temple at some points along the way.
Returning to the land of Israel was not enough. There is still the issue of the people not being truly able to keep God’s FULL statutes. They needed a TRUE Teacher. Enter Jesus; God’s Son. Jesus, even as a boy, had the wisdom to understand and impart the truths contained in God’s words to Israel. He taught the teachers; without the formal education one would expect. When He waged verbal battles against the Pharisees, Sadducees, and religious leaders they were put to shame by His understanding. Even those from His home town recognized His wisdom and wondered from where it came.
Jesus did more than teach. He LIVED God’s word completely. The way it was meant to be lived. He didn’t turn back from a single requirement or look for ‘technicalities’ He could exploit for His own benefit. Jesus, from day one to day last, walked the way of the Lord. He walked right up to the cross and embraced it for our sake.
He gave His back to those who strike when He allowed Himself to be scourged by the whip. He held His head high as He was struck, spit on, had hair pulled from His beard and had the thorns, of the crown meant to mock Him, driven into His flesh. He didn’t even hide His face as He was led down the road to the cross before the jeering people. He put up NO resistance as His hands and feet were savagely invaded by spikes of iron to hold Him on the cross. He maintained His resolve to see the Father’s plan ALL THE WAY THROUGH as He hung naked and exposed on the cross. And He maintained His love and compassion as He forgave those who set Him here, cared for His mother’s future, and welcomed another sinner into the Kingdom of God.
He was NOT disgraced by the acts visited upon Him. He was glorified instead! Because of His complete absence of guilt, He burst the bonds of death. He was the FIRST born from the dead. He supplied the way for ALL who obey His voice to travel His path to life. He is the TRUE Light of the World. ONLY by submitting to Him will we walk in light; HIS light.
NO other source will do. Not knowledge, not self-actualization, not money, not idols, not (insert any other thing man can value). NONE will bring life. None will prevent the torment that awaits ALL who refuse Him and His work on their behalf. NO ONE else is worthy. NO ONE else can save.
Father God, THANK YOU for loving me enough to send Jesus. Lord Jesus, THANK YOU for being willing to do the work of the Father. You KNEW what would be required before You even set foot on this earth. You KNEW the walk would be HARD. You KNEW the day would come when ALL mankind’s sins would be heaped upon You. Yet, You CHOSE to come anyway!!! I cannot imagine the magnitude of that moment. And You NEVER wavered from it!!! You asked IF there was another way, but You WILLINGLY walked the only available path for the purpose You held in Your heart. THANK YOU!!!
I will NEVER be able to “earn” what You gave me on the cross. But I will accept it. And pray that I make the most of the gifts You have given me. I want to make the most of the opportunities You have provided for me to share Your AMAZING gift of LOVE. For it was love that took You to and through the cross. Let me NEVER forget or diminish this fact/act.
It is MY OWN DOING that brings me too, to the place where this gift matters most. To the times when, without You, I would be completely lost. The place where I too need to undergo correction to bring me back to Your side. The place where You show me forgiveness WHEN I have again surrendered to You.