they will come together
Jeremiah 3:11-4:2 (JDV)
Jeremiah 3:11 Yahveh announced to me, “Unfaithful Israel has shown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.
Jeremiah 3:12 Go, proclaim these words to the north, and say, ‘Return, unfaithful Israel. this is what Yahveh declares. I will not look on you with anger, because I am unfailing in my love. this is what Yahveh declares. I will not be angry permanently.
Jeremiah 3:13 Only acknowledge your violation—you have rebelled against Yahveh your God. You have dispersed your favors to strangers under every green tree and have not obeyed me. this is what Yahveh declares.
Jeremiah 3:14 ” ‘Return, you faithless children — this is what Yahveh declares — because I am your master, and I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.
Jeremiah 3:15 I will give you shepherds who are loyal to me, and they will shepherd you with knowledge and skill.
Jeremiah 3:16 When you multiply and increase in the land, in those days — this is what Yahveh declares — no one will say again, “The ark of Yahveh ‘s covenant.” It will never come to mind, and no one will remember or miss it. Another one will not be made.
Jeremiah 3:17 At that time Jerusalem will be called Yahveh’s Throne, and all the nations will be gathered to it, to the name of Yahveh in Jerusalem. They will cease to follow the stubbornness of their evil hearts.
Jeremiah 3:18 In those days the house of Judah will join with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land I have given your fathers to inherit.'”
Jeremiah 3:19 I thought, “How I long to make you my sons and give you a desirable land, the most beautiful inheritance of all the nations.” I thought, “You will call me ‘My Father’ and never turn away from me.”
Jeremiah 3:20 However, as a woman may betray her lover, so you have betrayed me, house of Israel. this is what Yahveh declares.
Jeremiah 3:21 A sound is heard on the barren heights: the children of Israel weeping and begging for mercy, for they have perverted their way; they have forgotten Yahveh their God.
Jeremiah 3:22 Return, you faithless children. I will heal your unfaithfulness. “Here we are, coming to you, because you are Yahveh our God.
Jeremiah 3:23 Surely, falsehood comes from the hills, commotion from the mountains, but the salvation of Israel is only in Yahveh our God.
Jeremiah 3:24 From the time of our youth the shameful one has consumed what our fathers have worked for — their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.
Jeremiah 3:25 Let us lie down in our shame; let our disgrace cover us. We have failed Yahveh our God, both we and our fathers, from the time of our youth even to this day. We have not obeyed Yahveh our God.”
Jeremiah 4:1 If you return, Israel – this is what Yahveh declares – you will return to me, if you remove your repulsive idols from my presence and do not waver,
Jeremiah 4:2 then you can swear, “As Yahveh lives,” in truth, in justice, and in righteousness, then the nations will be blessed by him and will pride themselves in him.
they will come together
Jeremiah’s call for both Israel and Judah to return and be healed of their unfaithfulness is for a larger purpose. He sees a time in the future when all the nations will be gathered to Yahveh’s throne, will be blessed by him,and will pride themselves in him. This is the Mosaic covenant commission. The people of God were to be a sacred nation in order to draw all the other nations to him.
The same is true of new covenant congregations as well. It does not help for us to unify if we remain unfaithful to the one who called us. Our unity needs to be in truth, justice and righteousness. We need to draw people to the holiness of God — to a relationship with him based on truth.
Lord, unify us with a shared faithfulness to your truth.
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