Even when we are not, God is always faithful to us. He is a good father. Good parents have to teach their children good behavior. I have found myself warning my kids, to not repeat bad behavior. I warn them to not do that again or I will take away screen time. I want them to behave, but I cannot let them behave badly. I don’t want to punish them, but sometimes they will not listen. God is our father. He wants us to do his will. He does not want to be angry with us or to punish us.
In this scripture passage, God warns Israel to return to him. God tells them if they return, he will no longer frown on them. God declares that he is faithful, even though they were not faithful. God tells them that he will not be angry forever.
Go, proclaim this message toward the north:
“‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord,
‘I will frown on you no longer,
for I am faithful,’ declares the Lord,
‘I will not be angry forever.
–Jeremiah 3:12 (NIV)
I love my kids. Sometimes, I get mad at their behavior, but I always love them. God feels the same way about each of us. God loves us, and like a parent, he is waiting for us to acknowledge our bad behavior and forgive us. A few days ago, I saw a heart drawn in blue ink on the couch. I knew who did it, but I asked anyway. “Who drew a heart in blue ink on the couch?” My daughter’s eyes went to the side as she she half smiled and said, “Umm well, I thought it was paper.” She was testing me to see if that excuse would get her out of it. I just wanted her to acknowledge that she did something wrong and not to do it again. God feels the same way about us.
Only acknowledge your guilt—
you have rebelled against the Lord your God,
you have scattered your favors to foreign gods
under every spreading tree,
and have not obeyed me,’”
declares the Lord.
–Jeremiah 3:13 (NIV)
God asks that we acknowledge our guilt. God does not want to repeat our offense and keep reminding us, hoping that we acknowledge it. We have to confess our sins to God and seek forgiveness. God wants us to seek him and admit what we did. God wants us to acknowledge that our behavior was not acceptable to God. When my kids do something wrong, my response is more understanding, when they come to me first and admit what they did. When I walk in and see what they did, my reaction is stronger and may involve yelling, based on the offense. We need to go to God, admit our guilt, tell God what we did and ask for forgiveness.
Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.
–Jeremiah 3:15 (NIV)
God is waiting for us to come to him. God wants us to acknowledge our guilt and offenses, so he can bless us. God wants to give us shepherds after his own heart to lead us in knowledge and understanding. When we have good leaders, it will be easier not to fall off God’s righteous path. Go to God first, admit your sins (big or small), and ask for forgiveness. God wants to bless our lives with happiness.