Today I'm getting back to the study in Jeremiah, and am in Chapter 3. God continues to tell us how the people who were once so faithful to him have gone astray.
"If a man divorces his wife and she leaves him and marries another man, should he return to her again? Would not the land be completely defiled? But you have lived as a prostitute with many lovers - would you now return to me? declares the Lord. Look up to the barren heights and see. Is there any place where you have not ravished? By the roadside you sat waiting for lovers, sat like a nomad in the desert. You have defiled the land with your prostitution and wickedness. Therefore the showers have been withheld, and no spring rains have fallen. Yet you have the brazen look of a prostitute; you refuse to blush with shame. Have you not just called to me: 'My Father, my friend from my youth, will you always be angry? Will your wrath continue forever?' This is how you talk, but you do all the evil you can."
In Deuteronomy 24, the law forbade a man divorced from his wife to remarry her if she had been married in the meantime, even if her second husband had died or divorced her. Israel's spiritual defilement made divine reconcilation difficult.
In verse 2 where it says "ravished", it means that Israel, by her idolatrous worship was like a nomad waiting to plunder a passing caravan or like a harlot soliciting clients.
Verse 3 says that the Lord withheld the normal rains in the spring, which helped the crops come to fruition, and it still didn't bring them to their senses.
The first of the Ten Commandments says, "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me". Those gods can be anything - they don't have to be carved images that most relate to as gods. It can be pride, ambition, money, careers - all of which we see so much of in our country. The stock market has been falling more and more, and people are in a state of panic. Have you ever thought that this might be something that God has allowed to happen not only in our country, but throughout the world, in order to get our attention? He has watched us chase all these things, as well as all types of "religions" - He says in today's verses, that it is equivalent to prostitution. All we have to do is cry out to Him with a humble and repentant heart if we want our lives to change, or the state of our country to change.
Again, I quote from II Chronicles 7: 14 - "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their evil ways, THEN will I hear from Heaven and will heal their land".
Now more than ever, our country needs to practice this - we need to be on our knees and our relationship with God must be pure - we must ask him to show us the areas of our sin, and rely on Him to purge them from us, both in our personal lives and in our country as a whole. We need to pray that we are wise in choosing the leaders in our land, so that the laws and ordinances we enact, will be in line with God's laws and character.