Jeremiah 3:19 “I myself said, ‘How gladly would I treat you like sons and give you a desirable land, the most beautiful inheritance of any nation. I thought you would call me Father and not turn away from following me.”
Yesterday we looked at this verse that is so revealing of the pain associated with the Israelites going their own way and not responding to God and His love for them. This morning I thought of the parable of the lost son who rebelled and spent his inheritance sinfully and wound up in the pigsty (Luke 15:11-31). What do you think was going on with his father after his son went off?
Imagine his father watching his son walk away from home – not knowing if he would ever return. At meal time he likely noticed his son’s empty seat at the table. The stillness of not hearing his voice and not having his presence in the home at times could have been deafening. Can you imagine the heartache whenever his father looked down the road and didn’t see his son returning?
I can imagine the pain. He loved his son but was helpless to reach him. Now into this context, think of our God looking at a world with his potential sons and daughters all in pigsties, no matter what their circumstances were; all ‘away from home and away from Him’. But our God wasn’t and isn’t helpless. He made a way for each and everyone of us to ‘come back home’ to Him.
The way that He made for us is so wonderfully described in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son…” He didn’t and doesn’t just write us off – He made a way for us! And His Spirit is wooing every one of us, in the pig sties of life, to come to ourselves and recognize that Jesus can and will ‘bring us home’.
When the son came to himself and returned he had no idea the joy that was awaiting him. He recognized just how guilty he was and never expected the response his father gave him. But his father saw him coming even when he was a long way off and ran to him, threw his arms around him and kissed him. The son was stunned by the celebration; so great was his father’s joy that he had come home.
Jesus taught that this celebration is what happens in Heaven whenever one sinner repents! And we get to experience it!!! Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to experience the overwhelming joy and love that I did when Jesus came into my life. One moment I was lost and in the pigsty, the next I was ‘at home’ in the embrace of my God, absolutely overwhelmed by His love for me.
Because of the love of God in Jesus, we get to call Him Father and faithfully follow Him all the days of our lives!