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©Kris Gerbrandt

Chapter 3:19-4:2 (ESV)

Posted on June 17, 2024  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 3:19-4:2 (ESV) - “I said,
    How I would set you among my sons,
and give you a pleasant land,
    a heritage most beautiful of all nations.
And I thought you would call me, My Father,
    and would not turn from following me.
Surely, as a treacherous wife leaves her husband,
    so have you been treacherous to me, O house of Israel,
declares the LORD.”

A voice on the bare heights is heard,
    the weeping and pleading of Israel's sons
because they have perverted their way;
    they have forgotten the LORD their God.
“Return, O faithless sons;
    I will heal your faithlessness.”
“Behold, we come to you,
    for you are the LORD our God.
Truly the hills are a delusion,
    the orgies on the mountains.
Truly in the LORD our God
    is the salvation of Israel.

“But from our youth the shameful thing has devoured all for which our fathers labored, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. Let us lie down in our shame, and let our dishonor cover us. For we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even to this day, and we have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.”

“If you return, O Israel,
declares the LORD,
    to me you should return.
If you remove your detestable things from my presence,
    and do not waver,
and if you swear, ‘As the LORD lives,’
    in truth, in justice, and in righteousness,
then nations shall bless themselves in him,
    and in him shall they glory.”

Question to consider: What were the sons of Israel doing when they repented and called out to the LORD?

At this point, the northern kingdom of Israel was scattered throughout the nations like seeds in the wind. They hadn’t lived in the land since Hezekiah’s father, Ahaz, was king of Judah, and its capital city of Samaria was now a melting-pot of nations resettled by the king of Assyria. Even though generations had come and gone, the LORD still called for the scattered Israelites to return to Him.

The LORD’s word does not return to him void, for there is a cry from a remnant of Israel in the midst of their perversion. The cry comes from the very high places of Baal— the orgies on the mountains. Whatever pleasure this worship may have been bringing them up until this point, they suddenly recognized that it was all a delusion. The true salvation of Israel belonged to the LORD alone.

Once our eyes are opened to the lies of sin and the mess that it has made of our lives, there comes a moment of despair— a thought that there is no path back. This thought is just another lie of the devil. The land may have been devoured and the flocks lost, but where there is forgiveness of sins, there is life and salvation!

Even though they had been treacherous to the LORD and continued to be faithless, the LORD offered to heal their faithlessness. However, the LORD pointed out that the only way they could return to the land was if they returned to God Himself.

If you went through my studies in Ezra and Nehemiah, you may remember that when their time of exile had been completed, the LORD provided all that they needed to rebuild the city and temple through the Medo-Persian king, Artaxerxes. What may seem impossible to us is not a problem for God.

Israel may have repented and returned from exile, but it would not take long for people to lose faith and once again harden their hearts against the LORD. The last section about living in truth, justice and righteousness so that the nations would bless themselves in the name of the LORD is not some future promise to be fulfilled by modern Israel. It was a reference to the true seed of the woman, the promised seed of Abraham and true Israel— Christ Jesus. Only Christ was true, just and righteous, and in this He perfectly fulfilled the Law. The true, just and righteous One was also the sacrificial lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.

It is because He bore our curse on the cross that we are able to receive His truth, justice, and righteousness by faith. By this, all nations are blessed through Him and in Him shall they glory!


Dear heavenly Father, please open our eyes to the lies of sin so that we may turn to You and have our faithlessness healed. No matter what kind of mess we have made of our lives, we trust that You can do more than we ever hoped for or imagined in restoring us to a right relationship with You and one another. In You is forgiveness of sins. In You is life and salvation. Hallelujah, Amen.