Focus Verse: In spite of all this, her unfaithful sister Judah did not return to me with all her heart, but only in pretense,” declares the Lord. (10)
When we have done something wrong and seek repentance, it is not only our words that matter, but our hearts. The unfaithfulness of Judah towards God was masked by a pretense that they were sincere in seeking and obeying Him. It is not enough to say “I’m sorry” to God or to others; we must mean “I’m sorry.”
Focus Verse: “If you, Israel, will return, then return to me,” declares the Lord. “If you put your detestable idols out of my sight and no longer go astray, (4)
I just have to say that this chapter reads like a horror story. But on another note, no matter how far we stray from God, His request to us is always the same: Return to Me. Don’t try to clean yourself up. Don’t think you’ve done something so bad that My love cannot reach your misery. Just return to Me. I will heal you. I will give you rest.
Focus Verse: “Yet even in those days,” declares the Lord, “I will not destroy you completely.” (18)
Such is the greatness of God’s mercy. He is not at all like the mythical Greek god Zeus – angry, tyrannical and bordering on the brink of insanity, hurtling down thunderbolts at all who dare defy or displease Him. In spite of our many sins and mistakes, God does not desire to destroy humanity; He seeks to save it. He graciously gives us more time than we deserve to get right with Him.
Focus Verse: So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. (25)
When going through a storm (whether a real one or a spiritual one or a physical one), keep your courage up and keep your faith in God. The winds and the waves still obey Him.