08/13/22 Grief

READING: Jeremiah 31:15-40, Jeremiah 49:34-51:14

I remember as a young believer hearing my pastor tell us that we needed to repent of our sin. I didn’t fully understand the term at the time, though. My sense was that “repent” meant simply to stop what you are doing wrong. That’s not an inaccurate definition, but it was an incomplete understanding in my mind. My repentance became more a response to lessen guilt than a grief over sin against a holy God. It was more a “I want to do better tomorrow” than “I want to obey God because I love Him,” more a “I hate this shame” than “I hate my sin.” I had much to learn about repentance. 

From the pen of Jeremiah, today’s reading helps us to understand repentance much better than I understood it. In Jeremiah 31:16-21, the word “return” occurs six times. That return, though, was not simply regret over sin among the people of God; it was a deeply felt grief over sin: “You disciplined me, and I have been disciplinedlike an untrained calf. Take me back, so that I can return, for you, Lord, are my God. After my return, I felt regret; After I was instructed, I struck my thigh in grief. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth” (Jer 31:18-19). All the while, however, God yearned for their return—and He welcomed them upon their repentance. 

That’s a sweet, sweet God for the Hebrews of Jeremiah’s day – and He’s our God, too. 

PERSONAL REFLECTION: Do you need to grieve your sin today?   

DAILY PRAYER: “I am humbled by Your pursing grace, Father. Thank You.” 

TOMORROW’S READING: Jeremiah 51:15-58, 2 Kings 24:10-17, 2 Chronicles 36:10, 1 Chronicles 3:10-16, 2 Chronicles 36:11-14, Jeremiah 52:1-3, 2 Kings 24:18-20, Jeremiah 37:1-10 

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