Guess who moved away?
5 This is what the Lord says: “What did your ancestors find wrong with me that led them to stray so far from me? They worshiped worthless idols, only to become worthless themselves. 6 They did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord who brought us safely out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness— a land of deserts and pits, a land of drought and death, where no one lives or even travels?’
7 “And when I brought you into a fruitful land to enjoy its bounty and goodness, you defiled my land and corrupted the possession I had promised you. 8 The priests did not ask, ‘Where is the Lord?’ Those who taught my word ignored me, the rulers turned against me, and the prophets spoke in the name of Baal, wasting their time on worthless idols.
Have you ever looked around and asked "where is the Lord?" Did you ever think "he used to be so good to us?" It is easy to point your finger at others when things go wrong and we even have the nerve to point our fingers at God.
There is more than one reason why we sometimes feel that God is nowhere around but the most common cause is that we have turned away from him. We don't realize it when it starts unless we are staying vigilant about our relationship with God. It is usually a slow turning away, just a slight angle to the left or the right and over time that little bit of deviation turns into a big difference between where God is and where we are.
God is asking us the same question that he asked Israel, he had to wonder why they left, what had he done that wasn't good? God moved them from slavery in Egypt to a new neighborhood, a land with fertile soil, and then Israel moved away from God. (Jeremiah 2:11-12)
There is a huge temptation to be ungrateful to God for his blessings, we start to feel that we are entitled, or we just fail to notice how well that God has blessed us. The people had forgotten the warning (Joshua 23-24) that Joshua gave them, it wasn't long after he was gone that the nation took off and followed the god's of the nations around them.
God calls his children to come back home
Jeremiah 3:12,19,22 Therefore, go and give this message to Israel. This is what the Lord says: “O Israel, my faithless people, come home to me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever. 19 “I thought to myself, ‘I would love to treat you as my own children!’ I wanted nothing more than to give you this beautiful land— the finest possession in the world. I looked forward to your calling me ‘Father,’ and I wanted you never to turn from me. 22 “My wayward children,” says the Lord, “come back to me, and I will heal your wayward hearts.” “Yes, we’re coming,” the people reply, “for you are the Lord our God.Like a parent that is looking for their child to come home for dinner, God is calling for his children to come back to him, he wants them to enjoy his company, he wants to treat them well, like his very own children. Very few parents are going to bless their kids with extras or treat them better than they have to when they are being disobedient and disrespectful. God is the same way.
God will call us back home, he will discipline us and he will give us mercy if we will realize how far we have gone and how ungrateful we have been for his blessings. Will you answer God's call and get back home?