“Thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria: the planters shall plant, and shall eat them as common things” (Jeremiah 31:5).TEXT — Jeremiah 31:1-14
On February 24, 2001, a one-year-old Canadian girl named Erika wandered out of her house and spent the entire night in the Edmonton winter. When her mother, Leyla Nordby, found her, Erika appeared to be totally frozen, and all signs of life appeared to be gone. Erika was treated at Edmonton’s Stolery Children’s Health Center, where she was resuscitated. To the amazement of all, there appeared to be no sign of brain damage, and doctors gave her a clear prognosis. She was rescued, returned, and rehabilitated to sound health again.
When a Christian backslides, his heart goes cold to the things of God. That was the condition of Israel who was in captivity at the time of the passage for consideration today. Jeremiah had prophesied about the coming Babylonian captivity. The prophecy was fulfilled and Israel went into captivity. Now the same prophet prophesied about Israel’s restoration if she repented. Their land which was desolate at the moment would be inhabited. Marriages and joyful ceremonies would take place as life returned to normal. God’s anger would be turned away, and Israel would be accepted as His people once again.
Today’s lesson is a great encouragement to those who are out of the faith right now. You feel cold and still, like the little girl who wandered away from the safety of her home. Your case may not have been helped by other believers from your church or fellowship who have long given up on you and who keep telling you that God will not accept you back again into fellowship because of the gravity of your offense, or the fact that you have been out of fellowship for a long while. Satan may be whispering to your mind that you have gone too far to return to the Lord.
Pick up the courage today, like the prodigal son, and begin to trace your way back to God. He is ready to forgive any penitent believer, who repents truly and returns to Him. He forgives and forgets that you had once offended Him. Joy and peace is restored, and the backslider is granted access once again into the service of the Lord. Do not remain frozen in sin; return now to the warm embrace of the ever-loving and gracious God.
Thought for the day
God has a large room for penitent returnees.
- in one year
- DEUTERONOMY 31 – 34