Find rest for your souls
I like to start my day with reading one chapter from my devotional, and after finishing Isaiah I moved on to Jeremiah. Studying Jeremiah and Isaiah is really teaching me about God’s patience and His love for His children, but also His justice. Yes, He is a merciful God, but He is a just God. He does have expectations and He has the right to have them. We shouldn’t take advantage of Him. We need to honor and respect Him.
I’m also gaining a better understanding of what it means to have the fear of the Lord. It means to respect and honor Him. It means to know and understand His ways and to stand by them. He is not just our God; He is our Father.
We know that fathers love, protect and provide for their children, they also expect respect, honesty, consistent behavior and love. They give and give, not to get something back, but I think children should give back to their fathers (or parents/guardian). Giving back to your father doesn’t mean giving back in the way he gives you things, rather by responding with love and respect.
I picture God responding as an earthly father would if his children stray away from him: A father gives a lot to his children, but his children look for comfort in other things in the world and ignore their true father who never lies, who provides, protects and loves. These other things give empty promises and fake treasures. The true father is home, waiting for his children to come back. He calls them, but they don’t answer or call back. He visits their new homes but they don’t come to the door. He waits for them, for years. His children have children of their own, and he reaches out to them but they don’t know him, they don’t reach back out.
The way a father may feel if his children were to treat him that way is how I understand God feels: worried, stressed, sad, upset, angry and frustrated. It says in Jeremiah 7:20 that God’s anger and wrath will be poured out on the place where His children are, so God can get angry, but He still carries love, mercy and grace.
God is a supernatural being. He is more than just one thing to us. He embodies all that we need. He acts as a father, friend and husband.
In Jeremiah 3:14 KJV God says: for I am married unto you. The Lord sees Himself married unto the backslider, or faithless people. In NIV it says, “Return, faithless people,” declares the Lord, “for I am your husband.”
God does not divorce Himself from us. To divorce is to end a relationship, to give up. God does not want that. He marries Himself to us, willingly, with love. Nothing can break that bond. Marriage is a sacred relationship that needs attention and love.
You’re never too far away from God. He is always there with you, in it with you. He knows what you need and He wants you to be at peace. God tells us in Jeremiah 6:16: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.”
While you were doing all these things, declares the Lord, I spoke to you again and again, but you did not listen.
You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.