by M. Jolaine Szymkowiak

I Want You Back
M. Jolaine Szymkowiak
Jeremiah 2:17-3:22; Ezekiel 37:23; Psalm 103:10-12, 14, 17-18

A new friend made this statement shortly before I left on a trip, "I want you back, I want you back." She and I had just become acquainted. I understood the longing in her voice. She had previously remarked on one of my visits with her that it seemed whenever she got a new friend, they either died or moved away. Nothing was to happen to me, her new friend, on this trip. I was to come back and to her as well.

As I walked back to my own apartment, this revelation hit me – God wants a lot of us back. His words are written time and again – "if only you will come back, I will do great things." If only you will, I will.

"Why do my people say, 'We are free to roam; we will come no more to Thee'" (Jeremiah 2:31b)? God continues his discourse with Jeremiah, rebukes and calls Israel and Judah to task for the things the people have done against God; and yet he tells Jeremiah, "Go and proclaim these words toward the north and say, 'Return, I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious, I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your iniquity, that you have transgressed against the Lord your God . . . and you have not obeyed My voice. . . Return, O faithless sons'" (Jeremiah 3:12-14). The Lord continues, "Return, O faithless sons, I will heal your faithlessness" (3:22). "Therefore, thus says the Lord, 'If you return, then I will restore you – before Me you will stand. . . . Then I will make you to this people a fortified wall of bronze; and though they fight against you, they will not prevail over you, for I am with you to save you and deliver you,' declares the Lord. 'So I will deliver you from the hand of the wicked, and I will redeem you from the grasp of the violent'" (15:19-21).

We may then say, "But I haven't done anything really wicked, only sinned a little, lied a little – little white ones, you know. I haven't done anything like the ...

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