“They say, If a man put away his wife, and she go from him, and become another man’s, shall he return unto her again? shall not that land be greatly polluted? but thou hast played the harlot with many lovers; yet return again to me, saith the Lord(v.1)”.
Jeremiah is speaking in a narrow sense of the law of Moses regarding divorce. But in a larger sense how can a church( the bride) separate from Christ and join with another? It is on this the prophet posed the question:”Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods? but my people have changed their glory for that which doth not profit (Je.2:11)”.
While studying the Book of Isaiah we had considered fellowship of God with man in a post dated May,3 2019 “Here is an excerpt:
“If God did abandon the nation of Israel what evidence do they have? God allowed Moses such disannulment of union as divorce between man and woman, considering their frailty. “He (Jesus) saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so(Matt:19:7-8). Male and female created he (God) them (Ge.1;27).” Significant is the reason stated at the beginning of the verse.”So God created man in his image(v.27a.).” This verse is repeated and the Spirit refers to elohim (pl). Thus the narrative in this and in the second chapter we have from standpoints of God the Father and from God the Son respectively. Think of these to use the terms from cinematography, one is a long shot and the other close up.
As in the case of the significance of covenant in the previous post, it is a contract between God and man in which it renders both male and female as one. The same idea is rendered with more force in the narrative given in graphic details in the following chapter. The woman is taken from the man while was in deep sleep. (Ge.2:21-24) The Spirit thereby gives us the idea of man and woman from standpoint of God the Son. Thus covenant between God and man is subsumed in God and the Church, characterized in feminine form. What we need remember is that such labels as Jews and Gentiles are later developments. As Jesus says in the selected verse from the Gospel of St/ Matthew, “…but from the beginning it was not so (19:8b).”
Judah and Israel are interchangeable. When the kingdom of David divided into two Jeroboam set up two calves of gold for Israel to worship, “It is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem; behold thy gods,O Israel, which brought thee up out of the Land of Egypt (1 Ki.12:28)” Now here we have a classic case of sin finding you out. Before we come to that let us look what a little thing like anger or jealousy could do. It is a small thing like a rudder but can drive a great vessel (Jas.3:4). What God predicted when Cain was angry with his brother was similarly a trifle as many would treat human faults; it was only a sense of resentment but it came out into the open. It was lying at the door (of his heart) all the time. When Cain least expected in the heat of a moment it exploded and where it led him to? He became a murderer and an outcast from the presence of God. “If thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door (Ge.4:7).” Worshiping the golden calf in the wilderness was not thought up by Aaron but the people. They forced the hand of Aaron, no less the right hand man of Moses, the servant of God. It is the collective sin of the people finding shape and form that would shame any nation. (Anti-Semitism of Hitler was not invented by him but collective prejudice of Europe found its way past borders into one who had the power to dispense. He cashed in on their prejudices to slaughter some six million Jews.) Sin shall not let go so easily. It is thus Judah and Israel are not geographical entities when sin is concerned, “Hath a nation changed their gods, which are yet no gods?”Now from the case of Jeroboam who made Israel to sin we can see how sin waits for opportune moment to strike. In an earlier post we discussed how white evangelicalism had no need for pressing a gun into the hands of any but their satanic doctrine of the Body of Christ based on race or color, found victims to kill and churches to burn down. All these victims were Afro-American and churches where they worshiped. It is how sin prevail over man who does not do right. Sin finds the damned who may worship God and pay tithes and are active in their community. Nevertheless they have changed the Savior Lord for other gods. As was in the times of Jeremiah we find the body of Christ worshiping only in name but no better than backsliding Israel. “The Lord said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.” How did Elijah confront it? “Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.” There is only one choice for those who have once tasted salvation: choose between life and death.
2 Lift up thine eyes unto the high places, and see where thou hast not been lien with. In the ways hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness; and thou hast polluted the land with thy whoredoms and with thy wickedness.
3 Therefore the showers have been withholden, and there hath been no latter rain; and thou hadst a whore’s forehead, thou refusedst to be ashamed.
4 Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, My father, thou art the guide of my youth?
5 Will he reserve his anger for ever? will he keep it to the end? Behold, thou hast spoken and done evil things as thou couldest.
6 The Lord said also unto me in the days of Josiah the king, Hast thou seen that which backsliding Israel hath done? she is gone up upon every high mountain and under every green tree, and there hath played the harlot.
7 And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it.
8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
9 And it came to pass through the lightness of her whoredom, that she defiled the land, and committed adultery with stones and with stocks.
10 And yet for all this her treacherous sister Judah hath not turned unto me with her whole heart, but feignedly, saith the Lord.
11 And the Lord said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.
12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, saith the Lord; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you: for I am merciful, saith the Lord, and I will not keep anger for ever.
13 Only acknowledge thine iniquity, that thou hast transgressed against the Lordthy God, and hast scattered thy ways to the strangers under every green tree, and ye have not obeyed my voice, saith the Lord.
14 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: