“Return, faithless people,” declares the LORD, “for I am your husband.” [Jeremiah 3:14]
These are delicate words — a good medicine for a troubled conscience. Such remarkable comfort is intended to encourage the soul, and put the brightest hope on all of its prospects. The person to whom it is addressed has an eminently happy position. My dear believer in Christ, tonight Satan will be very busy with you. He will say, “What right do you have to believe that God is married to you?” He will remind you of your imperfections, and of the coldness of your love, and perhaps of the backsliding state of your heart. He will say, “Why, with all this about you, can you be presumptuous enough to claim union with the Son of God? Can you venture to hope that there will be any marriage between you and the holy One?” He will speak to you as though he were an advocate for holiness, that it is not possible that someone like you could really be a partaker of so choice and special a privilege as being married to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let this suffice for an answer to all such suggestions: the text is found addressed, not to Christians in a flourishing state of heart, not to believers on the Mount of Transfiguration with Christ, not to a spouse that is completely pure and lovely, and sitting under the banner of love, feasting with her lord; but it is addressed to those who are called “faithless people.” God speaks to his church in her lowest and most wretched condition, and though he does not fail to rebuke her sin, to express grief over it, and to make her grieve over it too, yet still in such a condition he says to her, “I am your husband.” Oh! it is pure grace that Jesus should be married to any of us, but it is grace at its highest pitch, it is the ocean of grace at its flood-tide, that he should speak in this way of “faithless people.” That he should speak words of love to any of the fallen race of Adam is very strange and wonderful; but that he should select those who have behaved treacherously to him, who have turned their backs to him and not their faces, who have been unfaithful to him, although, nevertheless, his own, and say to them, “I am your husband;” this is loving-kindness beyond anything we could want or imagine.
Listen, heaven above, and admire, earth below, let every understanding heart break forth into singing, yes, let every humble mind bless and praise the condescension of the Most High! Cheer up you poor weak hearts. Here is sweet encouragement for some of you who are depressed, discontent, and all alone, to draw living waters out of this well. Don’t let the noise of the enemy keep you back from this refreshing well. Don’t be afraid lest you should be cursed while you are anticipating the blessing. If you trust only in Jesus, if you long for the once humbled, now exalted Lord, come with holy boldness to the text, and whatever comfort there is here, receive it and rejoice in it.