Rev. E. Anderson
THE GREAT LONGINGS OF THE LORD
This is a simple outline for you to think about and meditate on. The introduction, main thoughts and conclusion need further material to be added. It is an outline for you to expand, develop more fully and fill in to spiritual profit and inspiration.
What is evident in this section are the rich, deep and consistent desires of the Lord with regard to His people. He does not conceal the truth with respect to His own personal longings with regard to their conduct and future. These are made plain in the words of the prophet. Nothing but the good, choice and best was entertained in His mind and heart concerning them and how He yearned that they would respond to those things that mattered.
1/. HE LONGED FOR A GENUINE CHANGE IN THEM – vv1-5
There is this deep-seated desire that they will truly repent and turn from their wicked ways. He would even put the words in their minds and hearts saying ‘Let us return to the Lord’ so great is the concern in His being. If only they will make earnest and honest movement to Him He will be there in a flash to receive and restore. But He knows that anything of that nature that may be revealed is but a flash in the pan; it is short-lived and so there is no hope of anything permanent. It is like morning mist or dew, quick to come and go – v4.
2/. HE LONGED FOR A GRACIOUS DISPOSITION IN THEM – v6
There is this strong desire that some real kindness in spirit would be birthed and expressed in and through them. They had become very callous and hard with no heart or good-will. Their attitude towards one another was brutal and left much to be desired. The process and product of sin had made them hard.
3/. HE LONGED THAT THEY WOULD REALLY KNOW HIM – v6
The sad thing about it all was they had not come to a real knowledge and experience of Him. If only they had known an intimate fellowship and union with Him things would have been so vastly different. He was not interested in ritual and ceremony but in reality and communion.
4/. HE LONGED TO SEE THEIR FORTUNES ALTERED – v11
It is openly stated in v11 that He “wanted so much to restore the fortunes of my people!” He had no pleasure in seeing them degraded and downtrodden and missing out on the natural blessings of life. The reason why He had made and preserved them as His special possession was that He might see them blessed in every way and made the envy of the nations. He wanted them to be a wonderful testimony to His great goodness so that other nations would become switched on to Him. Even though they had been reduced to such a low condition it was essential for them top know that it was still in His heart to see all restored.
Knowing that these were the wholesome desires of the Lord should have had some decided effect upon this ancient people for good, but, alas! this was not to be. It has to be remembered that these rich longings still are existent in the Lord for His people today. It is imperative that we do not disappoint Him. This being so, we shall not be disappointed by Him.