when Israel sought for rest the Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
...they shall return here with weeping they shall come
and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back. I will make them walk by brooks of water in a straight path in which they shall not stumble, for I am a Father...
"...He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock."
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob and redeemed him from hands too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall be like a watered garden and they shall languish no more.
Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the Lord. (Jeremiah 31)
The harsh God of the Old Testament? Are you joking? This covenant-bound husband, enduring, jealously, patiently biding the time, welcoming back. The harsh God? I don't know who you are talking about.
grace in the wilderness
an everlasting love
by brooks of water
be radiant over the goodness of the Lord!
languish no more!
rejoice! be merry!
mourning into joy
gladness for sorrow
feast the soul with abundance
be satisfied with God's goodness
What joyful, hopeful, gracious words to such self-seeking, self-protecting, self-worshiping people. Oh my. Thank you, Lord.