The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. ~Jeremiah 31:3
What does the word “everlasting” mean to you? This word is used 91 times in the Bible to describe God as an attribute—in His covenant, in His strength, in His mercy, in His righteousness, in His testimonies, in His ways, in His kingdom, in His salvation, as King, in the life hereafter, and in His love. When God spoke the words of Jeremiah 31:3, Jerusalem had been taken over by the king of Babylon and the Jews had been slain, taken captive, or left behind in poverty. God had to chasten His people for their rebellion and sinful lifestyles. It was a critical moment when their hearts were softened and broken that God spoke these tender words. Unlike human love which can often be fickle and unpredictable, God came to the Jews with an everlasting love. Would you consider with me the practices of everlasting love?
It is RELATIONAL.
“Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” Notice the emphasis on “thee.” Everlasting love is always personally relational. God knows our name, our need, and our hurt. The God of this universe desires for us to have a personal relationship with Him. It is love that is passionate. It is not an anemic and fickle love that changes as the wind blows. It is a love that is giving and forgiving. God reaches out to us before we reach out to Him. It is love that invests in us and is involved with us. Unlike the love of the Jews that had become waning and withdrawn, God reached out to them, and demonstrated a love that was steadfastly relational.
It is RESTORATIVE.
“Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry,” vs. 4. Jerusalem had suffered destruction when Babylon attacked it. The walls and temple had been burned down and destroyed. Yet, God promised to build it again. Everlasting love is always building up whatever gets broken. God took the initiative to build trust. God undertook the responsibility of building faith and confidence. God undertook the responsibility of building beauty where ashes lay. God took the responsibility of building fortification where there were weaknesses. Everlasting love is in a perpetual building program.
It is REPLENISHING.
“For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul,” vs. 25. The Jews had hit spiritual bottom. They were spiritually depleted of strength, wisdom, enthusiasm, joy, and direction. When the Babylonian captivity occurred, many considered their situation as being hopeless. Yet, in His infinite love, God promised to fill up and replenish the weary and sorrowful souls. The inner man of every Jew was being renewed. Once again, they would mount up with wings as eagles; they would run and not grow weary; they would walk and not faint. Are you someone who is weary and sorrowful? Take time today to rest in God’s everlasting love to replenish you.
It is RELENTLESS.
“Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the LORD,” vs. 20. Everlasting love is love that does not let us go! It holds on tightly to us in spite of our wayward tendency. It will go to any length and distance to recover us, and bring us back to the place of sweet fellowship.
Be thankful this morning for everlasting love. It is a love that sent His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins. It is a love that keeps giving even though we give so little back. It is a love that sees us for what we can be, and not for what we are.
Have a love-enriched God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 2 Chronicles 35-36