10 “When you tell these people all this and they ask you, ‘Why has the Lord decreed such a great disaster against us? What wrong have we done? What sin have we committed against the Lord our God?’
11 then say to them, ‘It is because your ancestors forsook Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshiped them. They forsook Me and did not keep My law.
12 But you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors. See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts instead of obeying Me.
13 So I will throw you out of this land into a land neither you nor your ancestors have known, and there you will serve other gods day and night, for I will show you no favor.
At first this reads as if they are being punished for the sins of their forefathers It is because your ancestors forsook me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and followed other gods and served and worshiped them. They forsook me and did not keep my law. But that is not it as they always had the opportunity to change the ways they lived and worshiped. They did not, instead you have behaved more wickedly than your ancestors. See how all of you are following the stubbornness of your evil hearts instead of obeying Me. So disaster and exile will follow for them. Notice how the stubbornness of evil hearts end up disobeying God. One wonders if it is the stubbornness that causes the heart to be evil, stubbornness coming from deep seated pride refusing to consider one might be wrong and then look for a course correction?
Nonetheless we know the Lord is slow to anger and is abounding in love and faithfulness (Exodus 34:6b & Psalm 86:15) and while His anger is on display here He remains abounding in love and faithfulness. Thus we should not be surprised at what follows from Him
14 “However, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when it will no longer be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ 15 but it will be said, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where He had banished them.’ For I will restore them to the land I gave their ancestors.
No matter our sins, no matter how much we anger God, He seeks restoration for us. This is why Jesus said
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. John 3
Incredible love and faithfulness from God to read about on the 4th of July, Independence Day the day when the Declaration of Independence was signed with this first sentence in the preamble following the introduction with great attention given to our Creator:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
We too may have independence if we accept the Free Gift of Grace offered by God through His Son. Or we may choose to remain enslaved by our pride and sin. Our choice from God who abounds in faithfulness and love.