The hands of time were turned back.
Through His prophet, Jeremiah, God sent letters to His children exiled in Babylon. At one point, God listed the many reasons He had allowed them to be captured by Nebuchadnezzar. Among those reasons were these:
For they have done outrageous things in Israel; they have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives, and in my name they have uttered lies—which I did not authorize. I know it and am a witness to it,” declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 29:23)
Israel had committed both physical and spiritual adultery, and God was well aware of both. So, into exile they went. However, in Chapter 30, God told Israel that He had heard their cries and that He would “surely save you out of a distant place” (30:10).
God disciplining His children and bringing them back to Jerusalem isn’t all that surprising. However, listen to the way God referred to Israel as they returned:
I will build you up again, and you, Virgin Israel, will be rebuilt (Jeremiah 31:4).
In case they missed it, God repeated their new name a few verses later, “Return, Virgin Israel, return to your towns” (v. 21). The people left Jerusalem as “Adulterous Israel,” but returned as “Virgin Israel.” How is such a thing possible?
The One who knew their sin chose to intervene and forgive that sin.
For the Lord will deliver Jacob and redeem them from the hand of those stronger than they. (31:11)
Friends, that’s what deliverance and redemption do! That whole ‘removing our sins as far as the east is from the west’ thing (Psalm 103:12) – God meant it! Though our sins are as scarlet, we can be washed white as snow (Isaiah 1:18) – God meant that too!
Through Christ, God can take adulterers and make them like virgins…amazing grace indeed! –Dave
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