Is anything more everlasting than God’s love? Jeremiah speaks from his heart in chapter 31, in the midst of the Book of Consolation (likely chapters 30-33). The book of Jeremiah consists of lots of judgment language, so these chapters are a necessary relief, a breather and place to lean on God’s promises. For God doesn’t judge without promise.

Jeremiah is speaking to the people of Israel, who have a long history with God, a history full of salvation and grumbling and blatant turning away from God. Yet in these verses God declares, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Even when the people turned their noses up at the miracle of manna, God loved them. Even when they worshiped at self-made altars, God loved them. Even when they forgot God’s salvation and promises and faithfulness, God loved them. Always. Everlasting.

That love and faithfulness continues. God’s love isn’t dependent on their actions. God’s love has remained strong throughout Israel’s mistakes and even through God’s own words of judgment.

The ashes were on our heads last night, and this morning we’ve already turned away from God. But God’s everlasting love hasn’t turned from us.

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.  Jeremiah 31:3b 

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