Jeremiah 3 Commentary
Faithlessness and unfaithfulness – that is the main subject of the chapter. Faithlessness is the situation with unbelievers. They don’t know who the LORD is. Their actions are an abomination before the LORD. Unfaithfulness, on the other hand, concerns the saint. They are in a marriage relationship with the LORD but constantly break faith. Infidelity.
Unbelievers don’t bother at all. Saints want to come to the LORD in pretense. The LORD is not happy at all.
Jeremiah uses a physical marriage between a man and a woman to mirror the saint’s relationship with the LORD. If there is no marriage, the LORD wants it. Let Israel come to me. If there is marriage, let it flow without unfaithfulness.
At the time of this volume, the LORD had already separated Israel into two kingdoms. One kingdom was called Israel while the other was called Judah. Israel is faithless while Judah is unfaithful. But the LORD calls out: “Return, faithless people.”
We have a hint concerning the distant future. Jeremiah springs up the thought of a time when Israel would have a good government. We are reminded of the Son spoken of by the prophet Isaiah who would have the government on his shoulders.
At about this time, the Ark won’t be important anymore. The LORD will have descended and His perfect reign and Presence would be there, at Jerusalem. And all the nations would come to Jerusalem to worship. It is no longer a tribal situation; it is global.
Jeremiah also uses the relationship between a father and his children. The LORD also speaks of yet another land. Could it be a reference to the future Garden of peace and tranquility? And this obsession with gardens or lands! It represents a settled Israel, safe and well-nourished by the heavenly provisions.
Then Jeremiah prays: “Let us lie down in our shame, and let our disgrace cover us. We have sinned against the LORD our God, both we and our ancestors; from our youth till this day we have not obeyed the LORD our God.” Indeed, something to ponder for the trip ahead.
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