Belonging Together

Jeremiah 31:3: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.”

Observation: The theme is the restoration of Israel as the people of God. In the natural world, their captivity would come to an end and they would be restored to the covenant land God had first promised to Abraham and fulfilled in David. In the spiritual realm they, like us, would be drawn to God with His lovingkindness by His everlasting love.

Application: Everlasting love. Doesn’t the heart long to be loved with that kind of love, a love that will never dim, never diminish? That’s the kind of love that flows only from the heart of God Himself, for it is the only love that is truly pure, not performance based. When He says He will never leave me, never forsake me, it is utterly believable because He is Himself the source of this love. Great rivers of it are washing over me moment by moment, raging torrents of love strong and vibrant enough to not be put off when I disappoint.

And this word, “lovingkindness.” See the strange way that it is used: to be “drawn” by lovingkindness. I see the image of a fisherman pulling in his nets, a tangible, physical connection between me and the God of the universe, me being inexorably drawn close to the great Source of all love. In this scene I have incomparable worth, valuable enough to motivate Him to have given life itself to redeem me. 

The idea of the word lovingkindness stresses His faithfulness, His loyalty to me; it suggests a belonging together of the one doing the drawing and the one being drawn. The two fit together beautifully—everlasting lovingkindness. Nowhere is this better illustrated than in the marriage covenant. Earthly marriages are intended to be a picture, a preview, of the everlasting lovingkindness we will experience one day at the marriage supper of the Lamb. Husband and wife are intended to draw the other, as in a net of love, deeper into the comfort and safety of the arms of Christ, so that when we experience His embrace it will be something familiar. 

The thought that such astounding intimacy could somehow be familiar is something I can hardly grasp, yet I trust the truth of it because it’s from Him. We belong together, and He is doing the drawing into perfect intimacy, into His everlasting lovingkindness.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that I am solidly in Your net, and that You are drawing me closer and closer to You. Thank You for relationships on earth that model, however imperfectly, Your great love. Perfect me in that love, O Lord.

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