Zephaniah 3:17 reminds us that God is musical and He rejoices and sings over you. - -
The LORD your God in the midst of you is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over you with joy; he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.
Sunday, October 28, 2012
Israel Returns with Rejoicing
Jeremiah 31:8-9For I will bring them from the north and from
the distant corners of the earth.I will
not forget the blind and lame, the expectant mothers and women in labor. A great company will return! 9 Tears of joy will stream down their faces, and
I will lead them home with great care. They will walk beside quiet streams and
on smooth paths where they will not stumble, for I am Israel’s
father, and Ephraim is my first born.
Pastor Jerry read from Jeremiah
regarding the Israelites who had been in exile for many years, due to their
disobedience and their worship of other Gods.When they turned and repented for their sins, God allowed them to return
again to their homeland.
Gleaning from his sermon, I noted
that Pastor used the word RETURN in different ways:Tax Return, Election returns, Investment
returns, swallows return each year, as do other birds.Soldiers return home from war.Children return home from camp or college.
Seasons come and go and return
again.The Prodigal Son returned to his
The Harvest brings with it a return.We sing the hymn, “Bringing in the Sheaves”
to remind us of souls being won for the Lord.
The Israelites returned to Palestine after exile in Babylon.Some were content to stay and live in Babylon
as they had settled in and made Babylon
their home.There was a lot of
back-sliding.Some were satisfied with
their life style in Babylon and with their foreign gods.
“Let us return to the Lord,” others
said and they did.It is always possible
to return to God.We must first have a
change of heart with repentance, and a turning away from sin.
God is keeping His covenant.We do not return to the “status quo” but to a
New Covenant with new conditions and challenges.Jesus brings us a new and living way.
Towns change, buildings are torn
down and new shopping malls take their place.We can return home to our old town, but it will not be the same.We must begin fresh and new.
In the year 1947 Israel was
declared a nation, and many Jews from over 100 nations returned to their
homeland to live.Not all is happiness
when we return.There may not be peace,
but joy can be found in the turmoil.
What do we gain from understanding
that we are all in exile of a sort.Sometimes families change churches, or stop going to church all
together.It is time for new commitments
and a return to our God.
It will be a Joyful time when Jesus returns for those who have received him as their savior.
Meanwhile may we have happy Returns of the day as we carry
our light out into our world and allow Jesus to shine in and through us.