Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | June 27, 2017

“‘For I am a master to you, And I will take you one from a city and two from a family, And I will bring you to Zion.’”

Today’s devotion comes from Jeremiah 3:1-14.

God says, “If a husband divorces his wife
And she goes from him
And belongs to another man,
Will he still return to her?
Will not that land be completely polluted?
But you are a harlot with many lovers;
Yet you turn to Me,” declares the Lord.
“Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see;
Where have you not been violated?
By the roads you have sat for them
Like an Arab in the desert,
And you have polluted a land
With your harlotry and with your wickedness.
“Therefore the showers have been withheld,
And there has been no spring rain.
Yet you had a harlot’s forehead;
You refused to be ashamed.
“Have you not just now called to Me,
‘My Father, You are the friend of my youth?
‘Will He be angry forever?
Will He be indignant to the end?’
Behold, you have spoken
And have done evil things,
And you have had your way.”

Then the Lord said to me in the days of Josiah the king, “Have you seen what faithless Israel did?  She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there.  I thought, ‘After she has done all these things she will return to Me’;  but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it.  And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear;  but she went and was a harlot also.  Because of the lightness of her harlotry, she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees.  10 Yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception,” declares the Lord.

11 And the Lord said to me, “Faithless Israel has proved herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.  12 Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say,

‘Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the Lord;
‘I will not look upon you in anger.
For I am gracious,’ declares the Lord;
‘I will not be angry forever.
13 ‘Only acknowledge your iniquity,
That you have transgressed against the Lord your God
And have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree,
And you have not obeyed My voice,’ declares the Lord.
14 ‘Return, O faithless sons,’ declares the Lord;
‘For I am a master to you,
And I will take you one from a city and two from a family,
And I will bring you to Zion.’”  Jeremiah 3:1-14.

————————-

History is “His story” (God’s story), and the history of Israel and Judah is God’s story of how He saved His elect summarized by “TULIP”, the Five Points of Calvinism, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.

We see “TULIP” again in today’s Scripture.

We see the “Total Depravity” of both Israel and Judah, the “T” of “TULIP”.

Yes, there is the call for repentance.  But, do we see any repentance?

No, there was no true repentance by Israel.  There was no true return to the LORD. 

We see figurative speech from the LORD:  “I thought, ‘After she has done all these things she will return to Me’;  but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it.”  Verse 7.  In other words, it would have been reasonable for Israel to repent and return to the LORD, but Israel did not repent and return to the LORD.  (Of course, the LORD knew the heart of Israel and all of Israel’s future actions, so this language by the LORD is figurative, not literal language.)

And, Judah, despite even seeing the LORD’s punishment on Israel in addition to the motivation of the reasonableness of repentance, also did not repent and did not return to the LORD. 

“Yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception,” declares the Lord.”  Verse 10.

We then see the LORD’s “Unconditional Election”, the “U” of “TULIP”.

“…  ‘For I am a master to you,
And I will take you one from a city and two from a family,
And I will bring you to Zion.’”  Verse 14. 

Other doctrine is based on man being wise enough and good enough and willing to repent and return to the LORD.

But, Reformed Doctrine is based on the LORD’s sovereignty and “Unconditional Election”.  In order for anyone to be saved, that saved person must be unconditionally elected by the LORD for salvation.  Election is “the fountain of every saving good” as stated from the Canons of Dordt.

And, Christ must die for that saved person (“Limited Atonement”, the “L” of “TULIP”) to purchase and provide all the saving gifts for that elect person, and God must irresistibly draw that elect person to Christ (“Irresistible Grace”, the “I” of “TULIP”), and God must preserve that elect person to salvation, otherwise that elect person “could not persevere in a state of grace, if left to their own strength” (“Preservation of the Saints”, the “P” of “TULIP” as stated from the Canons of Dordt).

“…  ‘For I am a master to you,
And I will take you one from a city and two from a family,
And I will bring you to Zion.’”  Verse 14. 

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