For the Lord has called you
Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,
Like a youthful wife when you were refused,”
Says your God.
7 “For a mere moment I have forsaken you,
But with great mercies I will gather you.
For the Lord hath called thee; i.e. recalled thee to Himself – summoned thee to return, and once more resume the office of a wife. As a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit; as one whom her husband has cast off, and whose spirit is grieved by the repudiation. No doubt a large number of the captives had the same spirit of penitence as Daniel (Daniel 9:5-19). A wife of youth was one wooed and won in youth, therefore more dearly loved, more regretfully repudiated, more joyfully restored when seen to be penitent.
When thou wast refused; rather, when she has been cast off. Jehovah takes back Israel into the old relationship, as a man takes back “the wife of his youth,” when she has been for a long time “cast off.”
For a small moment have I forsaken thee. The sixty or seventy years of the Captivity were but as a moment of time compared with the long ages during which God had tenderly watched over and protected His people, and, still more, compared with the eternity during which He was now about to show Himself her constant Guardian and Protector.
I love verse 7. God’s abandonment of Israel was not because He was capricious or had evil intent. It was because Israel, over and over again, turned its back on Him and worshiped the idols of the nations all around them. This promise of His restoration of Israel is stated in such tender terms. My KJV says “with great mercies.” The translation in the picture above reads “with deep compassion.”
Our God is a God of holiness and justice; but He is also a God of great mercy and deep compassion. A tender God, One Who does not forever hold the sin of Israel–or of you and me—over our heads like the Sword of Damocles.
I’m thankful for His mercy and compassion. I hope you are, too.