Tuesday, November 16, 2010
In the reading from Jeremiah for today, we read this verse (31:4a) "Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel!"
What makes that verse astonishing is that Jeremiah has just spent 30 chapters telling Israel how she is not a virgin, but has prostituted herself with foreign gods and committed spiritual adultery time and time again. Things have gotten so bad, in fact, that he compares Israel to a she-camel in heat, looking for any foreign gods who will service her! (Put that picture in your mind!)
And yet, the Lord here calls her a virgin again! She will be redeemed from her sin and restored to her purity by the only one who could do so - by the Lord Himself. Through the one who will come and take her sin upon Himself, she will again be a virgin through the forgiveness of her sins! Think about that! Think about the power and fullness of our Lord's forgiveness!
And so it is for you and I. Whatever you have done that you are ashamed of, whatever sins have defiled you, and whatever false gods you have bowed down to, loved, and served, the death and resurrection of your Saviour Jesus Christ has redeemed and restored you in the forgiveness of your sins. You are no longer impure, but a holy, clean virgin again! Thanks be to God.