Why Would God Stay in this relationship?
Devotional Thought of the Day:
“Unfaithful people, come back; you belong to me. I will take one of you from each town and two from each clan, and I will bring you back to Mount Zion. 15 I will give you rulers who obey me, and they will rule you with wisdom and understanding. 16 Then when you have become numerous in that land, people will no longer talk about my Covenant Box. They will no longer think about it or remember it; they will not even need it, nor will they make another one. 17 When that time comes, Jerusalem will be called ‘The Throne of the LORD,’ and all nations will gather there to worship me. They will no longer do what their stubborn and evil hearts tell them. 18 Israel will join with Judah, and together they will come from exile in the country in the north and will return to the land that I gave your ancestors as a permanent possession.” Jeremiah 3:14-18 GNT
1 Give thanks to the LORD, because he is good, and his love is eternal. 2 Let the people of Israel say, “His love is eternal.” 3 Let the priests of God say, “His love is eternal.” 4 Let all who worship him say, “His love is eternal.” 5 In my distress I called to the LORD; he answered me and set me free. Psalm 118:1-5 (TEV)
152 Don’t you sense that more peace and more union await you when you have corresponded to that extraordinary grace that requires complete detachment? Struggle for him to please him, but strengthen your hope.
As you read the Book of Jeremiah, you see different aspects of God’s personality. There is the God who warns people about the wrath to come, there is the God who Jeremiah feels betrayed by, and there is the God who begs and pleads for His people to come home.
And yet, as we know, this God is one, and the focus is that on those who have rebelled, or walked away, or just ignored God, and getting them to return.
A God who promised to do away with the sacrificial system, a God who would promise to forget His anger toward them, a God who would provide everything, if only His people would come back.
Seems a little like a lovesick teenager, who will do anything if only their love would stop messing around with others, and be faithful. Between passages like this one above, and the Book of Hosea, God doesn’t appear in the greatest of light! How could He be such a sucker as to let people betray Him, disrespect Him, cheat on Him, and still beg for them to return?
Is He that infatuated with us?
If this was a human relationship, we would be telling Him to dump those unfaithful, ungrateful wretches, and if He didn’t we would wonder what kind of chicken He was. How could someone have such a grip on someone else and let themselves be so mistreated?
The difference is that with God the love is truly pure, His being faithful is not because He is blind, or because He things we will completely change in this life. He knows how we will struggle, He is in this for the long haul, and the Spirit works within us.
That is why Psalm 118 was Luther’s go to, we have to have God’s love for us revealed often! We need to help our people (and ourselves) realize that God will be this faithful and has planned things for us beyond our ability to imagine.
We have to know we can call to Him, and be set free.
When we do this, it is what St Josemaria describes, this detachment from everything but God, for it is in union with Him that we find peace.
And having found that, and seen how He has promised to truly perfect our lives, we can rejoice in His work in our reconciliation.
Lord, help us to hear Your plea and, led by the Holy Spirit, return and rejoice in Your faithful love. AMEN!
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 488-490). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.