“The Lord said also to me… “Have you seen what backsliding Israel has done? She has gone up on every high mountain and under every green tree, and there played the harlot. And I said, after she had done all these things, ‘Return to Me.’ But she did not return. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it…yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear, but went and played the harlot also…And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah has not turned to Me with her whole heart, but in pretense,” says the Lord…Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say: ‘Return, backsliding Israel,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not cause My anger to fall on you. For I am merciful,’ says the Lord; ‘I will not remain angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the Lord your God,…And you have not obeyed My voice,’ says the Lord. “Return, O backsliding children,” says the Lord;…A voice was heard on the desolate heights, Weeping and supplications of the children of Israel. For they have perverted their way; They have forgotten the Lord their God. “Return, you backsliding children, And I will heal your backslidings.” Jer. 3:6-22……………..
Return! Return! Return! Could the Lord’s message be any more clear than this? Return! Return! Return! The Lord was speaking to backsliding Israel. The Lord was speaking to Judah, too. To mass numbers of people. To people who were turned away from Him. To people who needed to turn back to Him. To people who needed to return to Him. To people who needed to come back to Him. To people in rebellion toward Him. To people with their backs toward Him. To people committing adultery in that they had turned elsewhere, to false gods and wrong things and evil ways. To people who were not living for Him. To people who must return – or else!
Do you see what the people of Judah did? They turned to the Lord – BUT NOT WITH THEIR WHOLE HEART. They turned to Him “in pretense.” Their hearts were not in their turning! They knew what they should do. They made it look like they had done it, like they had returned. But their hearts were not in their return. Not wholly anyway. The Lord wants us to turn to Him with OUR WHOLE HEARTS, with OUR WHOLE LIVES, GENUINELY, SINCERELY, TRULY, REALLY, such that our lives are living proof that we have turned to Him!
Is this message for you, dear one? Have you strayed? Have you wandered? Have you backslidden? Have you walked away from God? Have you turned away from God’s ways? Have you pretended to come back to Him but not truly in your heart and in your actions returned to Him?
One day it will be too late. May that day never come. May this very day, and this very hour, you repent of your sins, showing true remorse over your sins against God, true sorrow over having turned away from Him, and may you RETURN WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART, and may your everyday life from henceforth show that you belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, that you believe in Christ as Lord, and that you now will live for Him forevermore!