Many of us, Christians, have heard and read the phrase “Known and Loved” countless times. Even so, not many of us live our lives as someone that is known and loved.
Before I started this blog, I accidentally deleted all posts from my two previous blogs and needed to redo everything anew. I shared my experience in my social media stories, also my thanksgiving when I did well arranging this new blog. Some responses were well received, and there was one thumb response from my previous professor, back in seminary.
Her simple thumb response gave me a new spirit that I could do this well. She knew me slightly more than any other professors that have taught me, my background details that none of the other teachers knows, my struggles, strength, and weakness, and I trusted her thumb response meant as a support, love and care, a recognition that I do it right. I told myself to do this right because of that love and support I got from someone that knows me well.
My mind went to the verse in Jeremiah 31:3, “I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.” I was like, “why would someone still love you after (s)he has known you enough to not care about you?” The verse stated in Jeremiah 31:3 was the LORD says to Israel. The LORD knows how Israel was like, yet He loved them and is still willing to continue His faithfulness to them. This thought made me begins to read from the first chapter of Jeremiah to see what it was written to explain the kind of love the LORD gives to Israel. How the LORD took Israel and consecrated them to be His own, saved them and blessed them. Yet, Israel left the LORD, cheated on Him with other gods that are worthless; refused to repent even after the LORD repeatedly called them to come back to Him.
The LORD was the One that birthed this nation, yet they refused to look at Him and did not even feel it as sin. God knew their wicked hearts, yet He still called them His own. He still gave them His mercy if only they were to acknowledge their sins and come back to Him who made them. God was still calling to Israel for repentance; reminded them that He is their master that has chosen and saved them. It was not that the LORD so desperately loving them and would die without Israel loving Him back, like sick desperate ex-lover. NO! The LORD is the Creator, He has all the right and power to wipe Israel out to be no more and make a complete-new nation that would worship Him.
The excruciating deeds of Israel were pictured in the book of Jeremiah. Yes, The LORD loved and chose Israel, but without Israel, God is still God; without God, Israel would not have existed. In all the wickedness of Israel, the LORD still called to them, revealing His mercy and glory, even loved them and will still be loving them. And this is God’s love; not human desperate-kind of love. It is the love that comes with grace and mercy wrapped in the holiness of the LORD.
Did Israel, by knowing that they were loved by the LORD who knew them, make them repent from their sins and live their lives better? As a nation, it’s not likely. Not all of them will be saved, Isaiah said, because they choose not to believe. Therefore, we, who were not born as Israel, were grafted in.
For that reason, the same calling applies to us. Quoting Titus chapter two verse 11 that the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for ALL PEOPLE; we too, are called into His love. God knows us fully and completely, He sees our flaws and imperfection, yet still loves us and calls us to be His own. How then, we should respond to this kind of love the Lord has given us?