Even from the days of your fathers you are gone away from my ordinances, and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you…
I. JEHOVAH'S ENTREATY. "Return unto Me." Sin is not only departure from righteousness, but from God. God is man's true sphere. Those who have lived in God may wander from Him. Their sad condition may furnish reasons for their return; but the most powerful is that God entreats them to do so. This should affect them deeply. For it manifests —
1. His condescending pity.
2. Forbearing grace.
3. Unchanging love.
4. Willingness to receive them again into His favour.Man's departure from God grieves Him. In order that the wanderer may return he must —
(1) Reflect upon his waywardness, its folly and ingratitude.
(2) Yield to the Divine drawings which reach him through the Word and Spirit.
(3) Discover the cause of his wanderings, and put it away.
(4) Turn unto God with contrite confession and earnest prayer. The Divine Word to Him might have justly been "Depart," not "Return."
II. JEHOVAH'S PROMISE. "I will return unto you." God delights to fill the consciousness of man with His presence. He reluctantly with draws Himself from the wanderer. In God's return is all spiritual blessedness.
1. All wanderings are forgiven.
2. The soul is requickened into newness of life.
3. The evil effects of wandering are purged away.
4. The springs of a deep and immortal happiness are opened in the soul.
5. The spirit is conscious of possessing its true and eternal rest.God's return is dependent upon the wanderer's return to Him. He cannot reveal Himself fully to those who depart from His ways. He may warn them, chastise them, and strive with them, but they cannot know what His presence is to the obedient heart.
(W. Osborne Lilley.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Even from the days of your fathers ye are gone away from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. But ye said, Wherein shall we return?
WEB: From the days of your fathers you have turned aside from my ordinances, and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you," says Yahweh of Armies. "But you say, 'How shall we return?'