“Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion” (Jeremiah 3:14)

Leslie M. John

“Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion” (Jeremiah 3:14)

“God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24)

God is a Spirit and no one has seen Him at any time. He does not have any physical relationship with human beings. When He says that He is married to Israel it indicates His intimate spiritual relationship with them. One expects one’s spouse to be honest and faithful to partner because they both make covenants before God and witnesses.

God and Israel have made mutual covenant that they will keep the covenant. God said He will bless the children of Israel who should worship Him and should be faithful to Him. The children of Israel have made covenant that they will worship the LORD and keep His commandments.

It is a mutual agreement. God never failed to keep His promise to the children of Israel. He gave them “Manna” which was heavenly food, “Quails” when they needed meat, water in the wilderness when they were journeying from Egypt to Canaan, victory over their enemies when they faced opposition. The LORD subdued mighty Kings such as Og, the King of Baashan, Sihon the King of Amorites etc., and He gave them Promised Land, flowing with milk and honey.

The LORD said that they should not have any other gods before them nor will they ever worship them; but they made idols, and worshipped “Baal” and “Ashtaroth”. They set up golden calves at “Bethel” and “Dan” and worshipped them believing that those idols delivered them from the bondage of slavery in Egypt.

The children of Israel used the very blessings they received from God to worship other gods, which was tantamount to insulting Him.

It is quite obvious that no one will tolerate infidelity by one’s spouse. If we cannot tolerate infidelity then imagine how the creator of this universe will tolerate spiritual infidelity towards Him. The children of Israel never incessantly worshipped the living God who gave them all the blessings; rather
they worshipped other gods in violation of their commitment to God.

The LORD chastened them as often as they turned against Him. They repented and returned to Him only to backslide once again very soon. Not before they are settled comfortably they again fall into the same folly that they fell into, before chastisement. This happened over and over again. When they are blessed they believed their blessings were because of the favor shown by other gods, such as “Baal” and “Ashtaroth”, and worshipped them.

God did not spare anyone who worked against Him or worshipped idols. He did not spare even King Solomon, whom He blessed with wisdom and riches. Solomon worshipped God and gave Him all the praise initially; but very soon he drifted from the paths of righteousness by marrying heathen women and turning to their gods.

God is holy and righteous. He cannot see sin and unrighteousness in his children. He will not hesitate to chasten His children until they realize that they drifted away from the commandments of the LORD. It was not once or twice,
but the LORD repeatedly chastened the children of Israel because of their unfaithfulness to Him.

Prophet Ezekiel was instructed by God to prophecy to the mountains about their destruction. In Ezekiel Chapter 6 we see God commanding Ezekiel the prophet to prophesy to the mountains, water-courses, and to the valleys.

The LORD said that He will destroy the high places built on the mountains, and the altars built there will be desolate. The LORD said He will break down the sun-images, and He will cast down their slain men before their idols. He said He will lay down the dead bodies of the children of Israel before their idols and scatter their bones round about their altars. He said the cities in their dwelling places will be laid waste and the high places shall be desolate. (Ref. Ezekiel 6:1-7)

This prophecy was fulfilled and inasmuch as the LORD said that He is married unto Israel, He judged their infidelity severely and scattered the “House of Israel” among nations and sent the “House of Judah” into Babylonian captivity.
He made their land desolate.

It is because of God’s compassion that He resurrected their Nation and made their language, Hebrew, once again as their National Language. Yet, innumerable children of Israel are yet to turn to the LORD. The Lord is calling them back to Him with outstretched hands.

God sent prophets and repeatedly called them to repent but they rejected Him time and again. Finally, God sent His only begotten Son Lord Jesus Christ, who healed the sick, preached repentance and said that the Kingdom of heaven was at hand, and yet the Jews rejected Him as savior. His love towards the children of Israel is undying and incomparable. He said He would have gathered them as hen gathers her chicken under her wings and yet they did not accept Him. They saw the troubles in their lives and are still struggling. The Scriptures say they will open their eyes and accept Jesus as their Messiah only when they face ‘great tribulation’ under Antichrist.

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” (Matthew 23:37-39)

Jews and Gentiles, all alike, have great privilege now to call upon God and confess their sins to Him, and accept Lord Jesus Christ as personal Savior, and believe in heart that God raised Him from the dead. He is the “Son of God”, the very God Himself, and salvation is available in none other than Him.

“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)