…This is what the Lord says, “O Israel, my faithless people, come home to me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever.” Jeremiah 3:12 NLT
When we read the history of the Israelites in the Bible, it seems as if they were always involved in pagan idol worship; they willfully and shamelessly rebelled and sinned against God who delivered them time after time through His love, and mercy. By the time Jeremiah the Prophet was anointed by God to act as an Intercessor, Israel had abandoned the same God who delivered them from captivity and enjoyed giving homage to idols made from wood and stone.
Was it intentional to become so distracted that the true God was forgotten and what He had done for them?
Have you ever tried something that you normally would never consider doing? If your answer is yes, then there are only two possible outcomes; either you made the decision to never venture into that area of compromise again or you experienced enjoyment from the forbidden pleasure and are still presently involved in the activity.
I grew up hearing a phrase, “Don’t dance with the Devil!” Of course, the phrase points to the hazards of saying yes to the sinful pleasures of this world. So you may comfort yourself by making a list of things that you would never do; however, the temptation that you will face is custom made with your name on it. Remember that Satan will never tempt you with something that you can easily turn away from.
There is a very interesting documentary on the historical development of the Las Vegas Strip aka Sin City with the primary focus on the Casino industry. The ongoing meeting and melding of the minds of the top strategists, architects, psychologists, mathematicians, and financial wizards are necessary to develop and execute their plans to encourage gambling. Visually the casinos are spectacular masterpieces that incite the neurological system to produce endorphins and increase the level of adrenaline in the body. The lighting is developed to produce a calming, comforting, and nurturing environment with the sole purpose of eliminating all fears of losing your money. Once you have entered, you are pampered by friendly, smiling faces who provide all of the alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages that your money can buy. As you sip your drink, your head begins to turn to choose the slot machine or the table that will make you a millionaire; and just as you prepare to leave your seat, you hear the excitement and resounding applause because there is another winner who turned quarters into dollars. You are hooked by the environment that satisfies all of the five senses and promises an incomparable experience; and for those fleeting moments of excitement, you are willing to empty your bank account.
If Satan was unleashed without God’s restraining power, he would have us filled with hopelessness and despair, we would throw in the towel because we would feel that Righteousness by Faith is not attainable. When we sin there is a normal reaction to feel isolated and abandoned by God, and Satan escalates those feelings by always presenting God as unjust in all of His ways. Although Israel was wayward and full of faithless people, God still proclaimed His mercy by telling them that He would not be angry forever.
God loves us more than we realize! It is by God’s mercy that we are not left for dead or tortured by Satan until we wished for death. “Return home, you wayward children,” says the Lord, “for I am your master.” “My wayward children,” says the Lord, “come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.” Jeremiah 3:14, 22 NLT
Hope for Restoration: Even with a history of wrongdoing, God never shuns us. In fact, Long ago the Lord said to Israel: I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love, I have drawn you to myself.” Jeremiah 31:3 NLT
All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23. Yes, we will fall into sin more often than we desire; even so, it is God who accepts our confession and repentance of those grievous sins. Because of God’s love, grace, and mercy we should readily and humbly thank Him for being our Heavenly Father, renounce sin, and strive to move forward in His Holy Name.
Bible Readings: Jeremiah Chapters 3 and 31
Prayer for today: Dear God, We confess and repent of our sins and shortcomings. We are thankful that you love us and that your anger ceases even though we repeat the same sinful acts against you. As we strive to give up the habits that are enmity against you, we ask for your strength to live a holy life. Thank you for the ability to return to you and to move forward. These blessings we ask in the holy name of Jesus. Amen.
© Sonya Johnson Ruiz 2019