Grace: God's Grace to Sinful Israel

Jan 19, 2014
God's Grace to Sinful Israel

1. God's Divorce

Jer 3:8
I gave faithless Israel her certificate of divorce and sent her away because of all her adulteries.

Much as God hates divorce (Mal 2:16), he will not tolerate living with an adulteress wife. On the other hand God characteristically shows himself gracious to the repentant and so he calls her to return to him in repentance.

Jer 3:12,13 Go, proclaim this message toward the north: "’Return, faithless Israel,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will frown on you no longer, for I am merciful,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will not be angry forever. Only acknowledge your guilt— you have rebelled against the LORD your God, you have scattered your favors to foreign gods under every spreading tree, and have not obeyed me,’" declares the LORD.

Yet even in her unrepentant divorced state God still reckons himself her husband.

Jer 3:14,15 "Return, faithless people," declares the LORD, "for I am your husband. I will choose you— one from a town and two from a clan— and bring you to Zion. Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding."

2. God's Divorce Reconciled

Isaiah 54:4-10

Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband— the LORD Almighty is his name— the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit— a wife who married young, only to be rejected," says your God. "For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you," says the LORD your Redeemer.

"To me this is like the days of Noah, when I swore that the waters of Noah would never again cover the earth. So now I have sworn not to be angry with you, never to rebuke you again. Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

This is another characteristic of God's graciousness, namely that his graciousness does not lead to humiliation. For example it could be that a husband having divorced his wife for her adulteries, and then upon her repentance graciously welcomes her back but subjects her to humiliation and constant reminder of her sinfulness. God goes beyond that degree of graciousness by not only reconciling, but putting away his resentment and anger and treating her with compassion.

Likewise we read in Hosea of God's love for Israel despite betraying him like a harlot he says, "I will betroth you to Me forever; Yes, I will betroth you to Me In righteousness and justice, In lovingkindness and mercy; I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness, And you shall know the LORD." Hos 2:19,20

That's grace!

The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources