In Jeremiah 31
, the Lord sent down comfort to the children of Israel through the prophet.
God told the people to keep their voices from weeping and their eyes from tears. He said there was a reward for their work. They would return to their homeland. God said there was hope in their future, and their children would come back into their own country.
God said that he had heard the mournful cry of Ephraim grieving, "You have disciplined me, and I received discipline like a young, untrained calf. Bring me back so that I may be restored, for You are the Lord my God!"
God listened as Ephraim described how he had turned away, and refused correction after he was given instruction. He was ashamed and confused because he had to continually bear the disgrace of his youth.
God asked the people, "Is Ephraim my dear son? Do I not love him? For as often as I speak against him, I still remember him." God said that his heart still yearns for him, and will have mercy on him. He declared it to be so.
God instructed them to set up road markers so that they can have guideposts to return. They would return to their homeland.
God asked the people, "You faithless daughter, how long will you waver? The Lord has created a new thing on earth: this backslidden woman would embrace her Man.
As Christians, we should ask ourselves: Do we mourn for the work that God has given us? Do we not know there will be a reward for us if we are faithful to Him? Do we receive God's discipline, and do we change our sinful ways? When God gives us a cross that we must bear throughout our lives, do we use that to glorify Him, or are we ashamed and confused like Ephraim? Are we a backslidden people with no guideposts to return, or have we kept our focus on God?