“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.” (Jeremiah 31:3)
If there is one thing that confounds so many of us, it is comprehending God’s love.
We have heard (most all of our lives) that God loves us. And in a way, we accept it. But for many of us, we just accept the idea of God’s love for us… and struggle to actually apply the fullness of the measure of His love into our hearts.
In short, we accept the notion that God loves us, with our minds… but struggle to receive His love deep in our hearts.
Part of the reason is that the kind of love that God offers makes so little sense to us. We know what we are. God knows what we are. And knowing what we know, and what God knows… how could He possibly reconcile His love for us?
It is inconceivable. It is unreasonable. It is incomprehensible.
But that’s what makes God… God. That is why He is defined by one most prominent action… love: “God IS love.” (1John 4:8, 16)) It is the nature of love to give. And it is the nature of God to give in an everlasting and unending manner.
Think of it this way: God is infinite. This means that all of His capacities are infinite. When God chooses to love… there can never be an end to that love. An “ending” type of love would not be infinite. An “ending” kind of love would not be worthy of the God Who is infinite love.
We need to be reminded that the context of our verse for today is NOT one where God’s people have been faithful to Him. They have been so disobedient, that God has removed His Hand of protection over them – to let them fall prey to the ambitions of one of their surrounding neighbors. They are in the midst of captivity! Enslaved to a conquering nation. They have done everything possible to tell God to “take a hike.” But even though He leaves them to their own devices, He refuses to leave them.
And He tells them why… He recounts a promise He made to one of their ancestors. He promised Jacob (not a man of the highest integrity!) that He would love him forever. And that promise extends to all of Jacob’s descendants. Forever. So, because God promised to love Jacob with an “everlasting love,” He also chose to love Jacob’s descendants in the same manner – with the same God-like infinite intensity.
So let’s get this straight… God’s people had done things so unlike God that He turned them over to conquerors – but to be like Himself, He could never stop loving them. God’s Own character was on display. For His people to see. For all the world to see.
For US to see.
Once God chooses to do something, He cannot undo it. He always chooses to be faithful to Himself. And He has chosen to love His people with an everlasting love. An unending love that goes on forever!
All this means that God loves us because He has chosen to love us. Whether we deserve that love, or not. His love is a display of Who He is… NOT what we are!