• Indecisive? Doesn’t the Bible say that we should help the Jewish people? So, let’s do that and not sit idly by | Photo credit: PXhere

How long will you remain indecisive? (Jeremiah 31 – part 7)

Rev Henk Poot - 11 February 2020

Dancing is not for me. I don’t even know why. It is probably a mix of shyness and clumsiness. But in the Bible, there is dancing. And in Jeremiah 31:22 words are used that can be found only in Song of Songs, in the dance of the bridegroom and the bride (6:31 and 7:1).

Israel is called to return to the land here and not to linger and wait.

Turn around!
God has promised that He will turn Israel’s fate. He has taken care of His people and now it is up to His people itself that is addressed here as the virgin or fair maid of Israel. Israel is called to return to the land here and not to linger and wait.

In the Bible sometimes there is mention of hastiness, the hitting by Moses of the rock is an example of this, but more often the sin of negligence is mentioned.

The sin of negligence
Famous or notorious is the history of the ten spies who promised to roam the country but consider taking the Land to be a hopeless task, the time is not right. When the people of Israel enter the Land after forty years under Joshua’s leadership, Joshua calls the tribes together in Shiloh after time goes by and he says: “How long will you wait before you begin to take possession of the land that the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?” (Joshua 18:3).

And thus, God says to His people here not to wait any longer but to return. There might be reasons not to go or to continue to linger. Thus, there is fear that the world will disapprove and say that it is absurd to draw guidance from the Bible. But has the world ever said anything different? Maybe the sounds from the Church tell Israel to not compare itself just like that with God’s people from the Bible, as if the Bible’s promises are applicable to today’s Jews. And should that indeed be the case, it is at the least premature to act accordingly. But well, that is the old tune of Christendom that applies these promises to itself without scruples. But maybe it is partly so as well that the children of Israel are feeling quite at home here and there and have found their niche there. As long as you only adapt yourself, things are not as bad.

The woman will grasp the man
But God’s appeal sounds. It says that God has made something new and that the woman will grasp the man. Now, this may be a bit cryptic at first sight, but I think that it means that like the bridegroom has looked after the bride, it is now the bride’s turn, in dancing terms, to turn and move around the bridegroom and to look only at Him.

Negligence: What does it mean to us? It is clear that God has changed Juda’s and Israel’s fate. The Jewish people is returning. But doesn’t the Bible say that we should help them? So, let’s do that and not sit idly by.

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