The Love of God 2 – everlasting

The aim of this devotional study is to reflect on God’s eternal love for you and your neigbour.

Scripture

Jeremiah 31:1-7

1  “At that time, declares the LORD, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people.”

2  Thus says the LORD: “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, 3  the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. 4  Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers. 5  Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant and shall enjoy the fruit. 6  For there shall be a day when watchmen will call in the hill country of Ephraim: ‘Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.'”

7  For thus says the LORD: “Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, ‘O LORD, save your people, the remnant of Israel.’

Observation

Context: The prophet Jeremiah promises the restoration of Israel (the northern tribes) after their destruction by the Assyrians and exile from their land.  

  1. Verse two is a rich verse with much information. Find other synonyms that describe what these phrases mean in this context:
    1. “survived the sword”
    2. “found grace in the wilderness”
    3. “when Israel sought for rest”
  2. Verses four to six speaks of the restoration of Israel. In contemporary language describe the promised restoration.
  3. Concerning verse 3
  4. Why does the prophet say the Lord will respond to unfaithful Israel’s pleas? (verse 3)
  5. In the immediate context, what does the beautiful phrase “I have loved your with an everlasting love” refer to?

Personal reflection and prayer

Even in their destruction and exile the Lord has been gracious to Israel, faithfully preserving a remnant and eagerly waiting their pleas for help.  Truly, His love is everlasting!

  1. Do you sometimes feel that the Lord will grow impatient with you? Why?  Tell the Lord that.
  2. Have you ever felt that the Lord has given up on you? Why?  Tell the Lord how you feel.
  3. Take a few moments and mediate on verse three by mulling it phrase by phrase, memorizing it, praying it.
    1. In which ways have the Lord shown his love for you during hardships?
    2. In which ways have the Lord shown his love for you in spite of your unfaithfulness?
  4. Do you know a friend or family member that is far from the Lord at present?
    1. The Lord is gracious, patient, faithful – pray for that friend or family member now.
    2. Is there a message of encouragement you can give to him or her?