I was reading Jeremiah 2 this morning, and like you find in so much of what the prophets wrote, we see God’s heart, wounded and broken by Israel.
What fault did your fathers find in me,
that they strayed so far from me?
You can hear the hurt in his voice. He had loved Israel; he had brought them out of slavery in Egypt, through the trials of the desert, and finally into a land of their own. And they deserted him. They abandoned him. “It’s no use!” Israel declared, “I love foreign gods, and I must go after them.” Again and again, Israel broke God’s heart.
If I were God, there would only be so much of this that I could take before I completely shut myself off from humanity. But God didn’t do that. Instead, he opened his heart up all the way, to everyone! In Christ, God has opened the doors of the kingdom to everyone, and by doing that he opened his heart to be hurt and betrayed at a rate far beyond what Israel had ever done.
How many billions and billions of times has God been betrayed since then? If everyone who has ever believed has betrayed God as much as I have, that is an unfathomable amount of heartache. Yet he has not become cynical. His heart has not become hard. Before Jesus came it was just Israel, just one people group; now it’s the whole world to whom God has opened his heart. We have wounded him time and time again, yet still the doors of his heart are open wide. Still he loves each new generation.
This is remarkable. So much hurt. So much betrayal. So little love returned. So little obedience. And yet he continues to love as he has from the beginning. What an amazing God we have!