I Will Lead Them Back
Jeremiah 31:9: "With weeping they shall come, and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble, for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn."
When Jeremiah wrote these prophetic words, the nation of Israel was enjoying a time of restoration under King Josiah. Jeremiah foretold of their disobedience to the Lord and the coming defeat and exile by the Babylonians. Through Jeremiah, the Lord foretold judgement, destruction, and exile as well as hope.
In these few verses, the Lord looked ahead to a day when the Israelites would come to him with weeping and their pleas of mercy. As they would feel the pain and regret of their idolatry and disobedience, they sought the Lord and sought the mercy of which they had learned throughout the years. The Lord would remain faithful to his steadfast love and mercy as he speaks of leading them back to himself, back to the land, and back to the blessing of relationship with him.
Oh, the mercy of the Lord, that he would not only bring them back but that he would bring them back with abundance. Brooks of water signifies life, refreshment, and relief. A straight path would be one of obedience and focus. Lastly, the relationship with the Lord as a Father is one of intimacy, delight, and fatherly care. The nation of Israel had assurance even before the Babylonian defeat that the Lord would never forget them and that he would never remove his love from them.
2020 has been one of much weeping and many pleas for mercy. In our place of desperate need, have we turned back to the Lord? Have we sought his presence, restoration, refreshment, and relationship? Challenging times are opportunities for the Lord to search us and know us, to reveal our sinful practices, and then to reveal his steadfast love and mercy. May we return whole-heartedly to him today and enjoy the relationship that he has for us.Reflection:
How are you experiencing God's steadfast love and mercy as we start this new year?