Religion can be so detrimental to attaining an understanding of God’s ways. The essential elements of most religion recognizes the brokenness of the human condition because of sin and that the solution to this brokenness is erecting barriers to keep people from sinful action. The true revelation of our Scriptures is that what separates us from fellowship with God is not just what we ‘DO,’ but what we ‘ARE.’
The brokenness of our human condition is exactly the reason we need the promise of God’s restoration to be so clear. On an individual level, when Jesus was here, He extended a healing hand of restoration to people who had no hope of being whole or holy. On a national level, the story of Israel is so significant because it is the example of God’s continued faithfulness to us in spite of our faithlessness.
One of the lowest moral points of Israel’s history is during the time of Jeremiah. The people had turned away from God to such an extent that destruction and judgement were on their way, and there was no stopping it. However, even Jeremiah, during a time where doom is imminent, and he seems to have nothing but bad news for God’s rebellious people, there is a thread of hope in his message. The promise that even after coming to total destruction, and the rightful judgement of God against His people, He is already thinking about their restoration. Before they have even repented He is already working out their salvation.
“At the same time,” says the Lord,” I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.” Thus says the Lord: “The people who survived the sword Found grace in the wilderness —Israel, when I went to give him rest.” The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with loving-kindness I have drawn you.”…..
“Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child And the one who labors with child, together; A great throng shall return there. They shall come with weeping, And with supplications I will lead them. I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters, In a straight way in which they shall not stumble; For I am a Father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.” (Jer 31:1-4; 8-9)
Today, when we see the Jews returning to the Land of their ancestors, we are the witnesses of the miracle of God’s faithfulness both to His chosen people and by extension to us. We have the amazing opportunity to wonder at how faithful our God is in that He would keep His promises to a people who had seemed to have lost all hope, and if He deals so faithfully with them, will He not also deal faithfully with us?