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Is God Weary?

At the core of Jeremiah’s preaching to a backslidden Israel was that God was fed up with their backsliding, that he had “had enough” of their wickedness. In 15:6, the Lord said: “Thou hast forsaken me, saith the LORD, thou art gone backward: therefore will I stretch out my hand against thee, and destroy thee; I am weary with repenting.” Two observations are in order.

First, BACKSLIDING always involves a FORSAKING. Backsliding is both PERSONAL and PURPOSEFUL. Backsliding involves replacement of the true God with a false one—in Israel’s case, a proliferation of idols after the example of the heathen. How many of us have either spoken or heard others speak flippantly about backsliding? A man who misses church on Sunday might quip, “Oh, I backslid today.” 

But backsliding is far more serious than just a stumble, a random act of disobedience, no matter how flagrant that stumble might appear. King David schemed to have Uriah killed after committing adultery with his wife Bathsheba. But at no time did God or his prophet Nathan accuse David of backsliding. On the eve of Jesus’ crucifixion, Peter denied three times he ever knew the man. While Jesus predicted his denial, he never accused Peter of backsliding. Neither David nor Peter, in the worst moments of their lives, went BACKWARDS by FORSAKING their God and REPLACING him with another god of their own making. 

Secondly, perpetual backsliding is a WEARISOME thing to God. The Lord said: “I am weary with repenting.” The verb “weary” signifies impatience due to exhaustion. The word “repenting” signifies God on many occasions THOUGHT to drop the hammer of chastening and judgment upon backslidden Israel, but was MINDED to delay his anger. In other words, his love and longsuffering had tempered his holiness and justice. But now he tells Israel there’ll be NO MORE forestalling of anger, NO MORE changing of his mind. He was exhausted with his appeals to “return” and “come back.” 

Where does the God of our founding stand with regard to America at this hour? Is he weary yet? Has he run out of patience? Is he now of mind to bring the hammer down on our personal and purposeful forsaking of him as he did Israel of old?


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