Daily Devotion|Day 265
“Return, O backsliding children,” says the LORD; “for I am married to you. I will take you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jeremiah 3:14-15, NKJV).
Marriage is one of the strongest ties in human life. What God said in Genesis 2:24 still rings powerfully in our ears: “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.” If something can cause two lives to become one flesh, then we know how strong that union is. Due to the nature of this bond, marriage infidelity is one of the gravest acts of betrayal you will find.
Why do some spouses become unfaithful? “It’s complicated,” you may say. But, complicated or not, people become unfaithful when they forget – consciously or unconsciously – that they are in covenant with their spouse. A similar thing happens in the Christian life. Why do some Christians backslide, i.e. become unfaithful by choosing sin? They forget that they are in a covenant with God. They forget that their relationship with God is analogous to marriage. Just as infidelity can occur in human marriages, so can it occur in our covenant with God.
Remembrance is a powerful thing. When you remember who you are, where you are coming from, where you are going and what you represent, it keeps you from straying. Think about this: Why did Jesus specifically command us to eat the Lord’s supper to remember Him? (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). When you stop remembering, you start straying.
In today’s opening passage, God remembers that He is in a covenant. He says to His people: “I am married to you.” In the days of Jeremiah the prophet, sin was rampant in Judah. Idolatry was widespread, as was violence. God was deeply grieved over His backsliding people. He called them to return. Then, notice what He says next: “I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
God knows that the underlying problem of His people is lack of knowledge or understanding: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge” (Hosea 4:6). Unfortunately, many of the religious leaders in Jeremiah’s time had gone astray and were no longer capable of guiding God’s people. God’s solution was to send shepherds who would feed His people with knowledge and understanding. When knowledge and understanding are in short supply, God’s people backslide. But when God’s people are fed with knowledge and understanding, they walk in righteousness.
Today, pray that the Lord will send shepherds who will feed His people with knowledge and understanding. And may the blessing of God be upon you. Amen.
For further study: 1 Corinthians 6:15-20