How often do we find ourselves questioning God’s wisdom, love or rule? What are the things that draw our focus away from God? What is it about our lifestyle, our relationships, our priorities, which make it difficult to live as God’s people? Time and again throughout the Old Testament we see stories of God’s absolute justice, demonstrated in His judgement and His mercy. These themes underpin our readings today. God judges not only His enemies, but also those who belong to Him. To those who have turned, or drifted, away from God there is a call to repent, to return, to reawaken longing for God and relationship with Him. God is merciful and many chances are given, but ultimately on those who do not turn back, or who stand in the way of those who are returning, God’s judgement is severe. God cares too much about sin to let it go, and He will use our circumstances to remind us of this. His people are to be different, holy. To those who do refocus God promises hope and restoration. Written years before Jesus is the promise of the One Who will come as a purifier, to wash away sin and make us fit to come to God: a future hope for the biblical writers but a present reality for us. Now as then He calls us to reconsider our priorities, but this time with the example of His Son to follow and the help of His Spirit living in us. What does it mean for us today to ‘Return to me’?
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