September 5 | Bible in a Year: Psalms 146–147; 1 Corinthians 15:1–28
Return, faithless people. I will cure you of backsliding. Jeremiah 3:22
READ Jeremiah 3:11–15, 22
LISTEN ONLINEWhile my classmates and I used to skip the occasional lecture in university, everyone always made sure to attend Professor Chris’ lecture the week before the year-end exams. That was when he would unfailingly drop big hints about the exam questions he’d set.
I always wondered why he did that, until I realized that Prof. Chris genuinely wanted us to do well. He had high standards, but he would help us meet them. All we had to do was show up and listen so we could prepare properly.
It struck me that God is like that too. God can’t compromise His standards, but because He deeply desires us to be like He is, He’s given us the Holy Spirit to help us meet those standards.
In Jeremiah 3:11–14, God urged unfaithful Israel to acknowledge their guilt and return to Him. But knowing how stubborn and weak they were, He would help them. He promised to cure their backsliding ways (v. 22), and He sent shepherds to teach and guide them (v. 15).
How comforting it is to know that no matter how big the sin we’re trapped in or how far we’ve turned from God, He’s ready to heal us of our faithlessness! All we need to do is to acknowledge our wrong ways and allow His Holy Spirit to begin changing our hearts.
By Leslie Koh
REFLECT & PRAY
Where do you struggle to follow God faithfully and obediently? How can you ask God to heal you and help you?
Loving God, thank You for Your merciful love that enables me to be holy like You are. Please help me to let Your Spirit heal me of my faithlessness and transform my heart.
The faithlessness of Old Testament Israel is a story that began at the foot of Mount Sinai. There, a covenant agreement between God and Israel (Exodus 24:3) established the new nation as a people of God. This covenant was quickly forgotten. Having been rescued from bondage by the God of their ancestors and having witnessed numerous acts of wonder by that same God, the Israelites turned their backs on Him—seeking instead a god of their own making, a golden calf (Exodus 32). Even worse, the architect of this false idol was Aaron, chosen by God to be the high priest of the nation of Israel! Similar patterns would continue throughout the days of the judges and the kings, ultimately culminating in exile as God lovingly disciplined His people to bring them back to Himself. Israel’s frequent faithlessness stands in stark contrast to the constant faithfulness of God.
By Bill Crowder