You, O Lord, remain forever; Your throne from generation to generation. Why do You forget us forever, and forsake us for so long a time? Turn us back to You, O Lord, and we will be restored; renew our days as of old, unless You have utterly rejected us, and are very angry with us!
What I did was something Mom and Dad never expected me to do. It was bad, really bad, and they were very angry. It certainly was not the first time that they had been upset with me over something I did wrong, but this was a very different situation. It caused a pretty big fracture in our relationship, because it meant that they no longer trusted me, and I had two options. I could be as angry with them as they were with me and resolve not to have a relationship with them, or I could swallow my pride, realize that I was wrong, and seek their forgiveness and restoration. Ultimately, the option I chose would reflect the condition of my heart toward them.
Jeremiah was nothing if not relentless and consistent. He knew that his people had done very wrong, and these consequences were given to him to predict long before they occurred. Judgment was deserved, but he would not stop seeking restoration. He was the little child checking in to see whether his dad’s anger has passed. He was just waiting for that opening so that he could bring his people back into good relationship with God. He could have responded to God’s judgment with anger and decided to have nothing to do with him. Instead, he continued to pursue the Lord, which shows his real love for him and for his people.
Every single one of us has sinned already and will sin again. Some of our errors and misdeeds carry few and minor consequences, but others will really put us through the wringer. When God judges us for our disobedience or foolishness, we have two options. We can become angry and fight against him, which just confirms that we truly do not desire his ways, or we can relent to his chastening and appreciate its value, which shows that we do want to be more like him. The choice is simple yet difficult, but we know which option is correct. Father, help us to be relentless in seeking restoration and forgiveness when we have sinned against You, yielding willingly to your correction.