Jeremiah 31:20

Jeremiah 31:20

20 Is not Ephraim My dear son, the child in whom I delight?
Though I often speak against him, I still remember him.
Therefore My heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him,” declares the Lord.

The above verse is the conclusion to the four preceding verses given below

16 This is what the Lord says: “Restrain your voice from weeping and your eyes from tears,
for your work will be rewarded,” declares the Lord. “They will return from the land of the enemy.
17 So there is hope for your descendants,” declares the Lord. “Your children will return to their own land.
18 “I have surely heard Ephraim’s moaning: ‘You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined.
Restore me, and I will return, because you are the Lord my God.
19 After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast.
I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.’

Thus God tells Ephraim their time of discipline will end and they will be permitted to come home. There is no longer a need to weep and cry because your children and grandchildren will return their own land. Ephraim hated the discipline that came their way via their exile. They repented due to the disgrace of their youth.

God indeed heard their voice/s, as He hears our own prayers and our crying out to Him, and He reminds Ephraim of the following

Ephraim is the child in whom He delights
Though He often speaks against him, He still remembers him
His heart yearns for him
He has great compassion for him

God’s heart yearns for Ephraim! So what would it mean for God to yearn for His people Ephraim? Strong’s gives us the following hamah translated as yearns above

to make a loud sound (like English ‘hum’); by implication, to be in great commotion or tumult, to rage, war, moan, clamor:—clamorous, concourse, cry aloud, be disquieted, loud, mourn, be moved, make a noise, rage, roar, sound, be troubled, make in tumult, tumultuous, be in an uproar.

Clearly, like almost any loving parent, God is troubled by what He has to do to discipline Ephraim and looks forward to the time the punishment will be over.

Now, I don’t know about any of you, but I take great solace in this when discipline comes my way from God. He wants my repentance, my acknowledgment I did wrong by Him and what He desired for me. I also believe He yearns for me and each of us to return to His flock where we will experience His great compassion.

To make all of this easier upon us, He sent His Son to die on the cross for our sins. Then, if we will only in faith acknowledge what He has done for us and accept His free Gift of Grace, we shall have salvation and the opportunity to live out our faith in great thankfulness.