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  • Clear Away the Thorns, and Repent

    찬송 : 찬송가 269장 (새찬송가 522장)

  • 2017-09-20   [예레미야(Jeremiah) 3:19 - 4:4]


    Israel responded with repentance to the call of God, who wanted to be father and husband to the house of Israel. However, God once again explained what true repentance is.

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  • 19 "'I said, How I would set you among my sons, and give you a pleasant land, a heritage most beautiful of all nations. And I thought you would call me, My Father, and would not turn from following me.
    20 Surely, as a treacherous wife leaves her husband, so have you been treacherous to me, O house of Israel, declares the LORD.'"
    21 A voice on the bare heights is heard, the weeping and pleading of Israel's sons because they have perverted their way; they have forgotten the LORD their God.
    22 "Return, O faithless sons; I will heal your faithlessness." "Behold, we come to you, for you are the LORD our God.
    23 Truly the hills are a delusion, the orgies on the mountains. Truly in the LORD our God is the salvation of Israel.
    24 "But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our fathers labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters.
    25 Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us. For we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God."
    1 "If you return, O Israel, declares the LORD, to me you should return. If you remove your detestable things from my presence, and do not waver,
    2 and if you swear, 'As the LORD lives,' in truth, in justice, and in righteousness, then nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory."
    3 For thus says the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem: "Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.
    4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD; remove the foreskin of your hearts, O men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem; lest my wrath go forth like fire, and burn with none to quench it, because of the evil of your deeds."
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Thinking & Understanding
The Israelites betrayed God. As a result, judgement befell them, and the Israelites cried out in anguish for salvation from the mountain top. God commanded these Israelites to return to him and told them that he would fix their hearts, which had turned away from him. As he did so, the Israelites repented, but their repentance fell short of true repentance (3:19-25). True repentance is returning to God, truly abandoning the idols that God despises and offering firm resolve. Otherwise, not a single person would be able to evade God’s wrath (4:1-14).

Who is God?
5:21-22 God made his children bend to his ways and turned back those who had been walking in the opposite direction from him. God reminded those who had forgotten who he was. Let’s hope that our places of idol worship will likewise become places of pleading and lamenting, and of true repentance.

What lesson is God teaching me?
4:3-4 Repentance is like the act of tilling hard fallow ground that is dense with thorns, in which the seeds of life cannot take root, and ridding it of thorns so that the seeds of righteousness and new life can blossom. Instead of settling into false security through bodily circumcision, the Israelites had to restore their covenantal relationship with God through spiritual circumcision. Instead of tearing our clothes, let’s tear our hearts.

Prayer
Lord, help me to turn over our hearts, which have become hardened by idol worship, hypocrisy and indifference, and listen to and obey your word.