Bible: Jeremiah 3:1-4:4
3:1 “If a man divorces his wife
and she leaves him and becomes another man’s wife,
he may not take her back again. 1
Doing that would utterly defile the land. 2
But you, Israel, have given yourself as a prostitute to many gods. 3
So what makes you think you can return to me?” 4
3:2 “Look up at the hilltops and consider this. 5
You have had sex with other gods on every one of them. 6
You waited for those gods like a thief lying in wait in the desert. 7
You defiled the land by your wicked prostitution to other gods. 8
3:3 That is why the rains have been withheld,
and the spring rains have not come.
Yet in spite of this you are obstinate as a prostitute. 9
You refuse to be ashamed of what you have done.
3:4 Even now you say to me, ‘You are my father! 10
You have been my faithful companion ever since I was young.
3:5 You will not always be angry with me, will you?
You will not be mad at me forever, will you?’ 11
That is what you say,
but you continually do all the evil that you can.” 12
3:6 When Josiah was king of Judah, the
The Lord Calls on Israel and Judah to Repent
3:12 “Go and shout this message to my people in the countries in the north. 26 Tell them,
‘Come back to me, wayward Israel,’ says the
‘I will not continue to look on you with displeasure. 27
For I am merciful,’ says the
‘I will not be angry with you forever.
3:13 However, you must confess that you have done wrong, 28
and that you have rebelled against the
and have not obeyed my commands,’ says the
3:14 “Come back to me, my wayward sons,” says the
3:19 “I thought to myself, 45
‘Oh what a joy it would be for me to treat you like a son! 46
What a joy it would be for me to give 47 you a pleasant land,
the most beautiful piece of property there is in all the world!’ 48
I thought you would call me, ‘Father’ 49
and would never cease being loyal to me. 50
3:20 But, you have been unfaithful to me, nation of Israel, 51
like an unfaithful wife who has left her husband,” 52
3:21 “A noise is heard on the hilltops.
It is the sound of the people of Israel crying and pleading to their gods.
Indeed they have followed sinful ways; 53
they have forgotten to be true to the
3:22 Come back to me, you wayward people.
I want to cure your waywardness. 55
Say, 56 ‘Here we are. We come to you
because you are the
3:23 We know our noisy worship of false gods
on the hills and mountains did not help us. 57
We know that the
is the only one who can deliver Israel. 58
3:24 From earliest times our worship of that shameful god, Baal,
It has taken away our flocks and our herds,
and even our sons and daughters.
3:25 Let us acknowledge 61 our shame.
Let us bear the disgrace that we deserve. 62
For we have sinned against the
both we and our ancestors.
From earliest times to this very day
we have not obeyed the
4:1 “If you, Israel, want to come back,” says the
“if you want to come back to me 63
you must get those disgusting idols 64 out of my sight
and must no longer go astray. 65
4:2 You must be truthful, honest and upright
when you take an oath saying, ‘As surely as the
If you do, 67 the nations will pray to be as blessed by him as you are
and will make him the object of their boasting.” 68
4:3 Yes, 69 the
to the people of Judah and Jerusalem:
“Like a farmer breaking up hard unplowed ground,
you must break your rebellious will and make a new beginning;
just as a farmer must clear away thorns lest the seed is wasted,
you must get rid of the sin that is ruining your lives. 70
4:4 Just as ritual circumcision cuts away the foreskin
as an external symbol of dedicated covenant commitment,
you must genuinely dedicate yourselves to the
and get rid of everything that hinders your commitment to me, 71
people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem.
If you do not, 72 my anger will blaze up like a flaming fire against you
that no one will be able to extinguish.
That will happen because of the evil you have done.”