Jeremiah 31 has the prophet reminding the people of this truth: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you”. God’s message to Israel was an assurance of His love. Anchored in the eternity of the past, His love for Israel extended to the eternity of the future. It was an everlasting love. God is faithful. He never stops loving us, even in the midst of correction or discipline. He will deal with sin, and that carries consequences, but He never leaves us nor forsakes us.
That said, God is holy and righteous. We will pay a price for the sin in our lives. He opens His arms to us to come to Him through the saving grace of Christ, which takes away our sin, and can turn bad things into good. “I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow”. That is God’s desire – to give us joy and victory through Jesus. But even with that as His hope for us, the reality of His holiness remains, and if there is sin, there is a stiff price. “You have disciplined me, and I was disciplined, like an untrained calf; bring me back that I may be restored, for you are the Lord my God”.
Our biggest problem as humans is that we want to be in charge of our lives. We want to be boss, and that is inconsistent with God being on the throne. We can make that choice and shove Him aside, and live life like there is no rules or boundaries. But there will be a price for that choice. Sin is always a choice we make. It doesn’t sneak up on us and slip into our life. We make a deliberate and intentional choice. And in spite of that, God still desires to restore us to Himself. It’s why Jesus went to the cross. “I will satisfy the weary soul, and every languishing soul I will replenish”.
The fact still remains though; “everyone shall die for his own sin”. We can’t ride our parents shirt tales, or become clean through our marriage relationship or kids. Church won’t set us free from the penalty of sin. We have to address it directly on our own. God has given us the manual to guide us through life. “I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more”. He has equipped us with the tools to be set free. But we still need to make the choice to face our sin and receive His grace through Christ. It’s a beautiful story of God’s redemptive love, but we have to move toward Him to receive it.