God’s Stubborn Love

The One Year® Chronological Bible, NKJV (Tyndale, 2013), August 24

imagesGod’s stubborn love for His people continues in spite of Israel’s chronic rebellion. As they face their final deportation, the LORD promises only good toward Israel once their seventy years of exile are complete. In Jeremiah 32:36-44 and 33:1-36, God makes at least twenty-three “I will” statements of determined good toward His people.

  • He promises to “gather them out of all countries” where He drove them in His anger (32:37)
  • He promises to bring them back to their land, where they will dwell safely (32:37)
  • He promises to be their God and to give them singleness of heart and action so that they fear Him (32:39)
  • He promises to bring them back from captivity, rebuild them and rejoice over them (32:41)
  • He promises to bring healing and health (33:6)
  • He promises to pardon their iniquities and raise up a “Branch of Righteousness” in their midst, who will “execute judgment and righteousness in the earth” (33:8, 15)

God bases His stubborn love on promises that He made in the garden of Eden, to Abraham, and to King David many years before, when He promised them a redeemer, an eternal king and priest. Hebrews 7:25 tells us that Jesus fulfills that very promise as He intercedes for humanity as their High Priest, “Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.” And the Apostle John describes Jesus as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Rev. 19:16).

Somehow in the economy of God, the foolishness and rebellion of humanity don’t prohibit God from fulfilling His promises made in previous generations. God promises that He “will bring on them all the good that [He has] promised them” (Jer. 32:42). Though Israel has provoked the LORD to anger through their idol worship and rebellion, God promises that “His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life” (Ps. 30:5).

What stubborn love! He will not relinquish His people. He pursues them with an everlasting love.

How quickly we give up on those whose hearts are bent away from God. No individual has been more rebellious than God’s covenant people, yet nothing has swayed the heart of God from pursuing His people. Peter captures this aspect of God’s character when he declares, “The LORD is not slack concerning His promises, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance” (2 Pet. 3:9).

Israel learns one thing well during their captivity–they learn not to worship idols. Captivity cure them of that idolatry once and for all.

God’s stubborn love breaks them, only because He seeks to bless them.

Questions from today’s chronological Bible reading (Jer. 32:1-33:26; Ez. 26:1-14):
Why does the Lord instruct Jeremiah to purchase land prior to Israel’s captivity? What does Jeremiah’s prayer after the land purchase reveal about Jeremiah’s faith? How does the LORD respond to his prayer?
How does the LORD demonstrate His covenant love for Israel?
How does the LORD respond to Tyre’s jubilation over Jerusalem’s being laid waste? What does this reveal about God?