Developing Intimacy
Jeremiah 3

"Lift up your eyes to the bare heights and see; Where have you not been violated? By the roads you have sat for them Like an Arab in the desert, And you have polluted a land With your harlotry and with your wickedness. (Jeremiah 3:2, NASB).

"Surely, as a woman treacherously departs from her lover, So you have dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel," declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 3:20, NASB).

Love and Harlotry

We know that understanding God's love is connected to understanding love between people. When their is spiritual faithlessness, so there is social faithlessness. This is particularly and most acutely seen in the lack of marital fidelity. The other is also true. When there is spiritual faithfulness, so there is marital faithfulness. This is the reason Paul uses the marriage as a near perfect analogy between our relationship with God. They are both covenant based. Hear these verses from jeremiah.
A voice is heard on the bare heights, The weeping and the supplications of the sons of Israel; Because they have perverted their way, They have forgotten the LORD their God. "Return, O faithless sons, I will heal your faithlessness." "Behold, we come to Thee; For Thou art the LORD our God. "Surely, the hills are a deception, A tumult on the mountains. Surely, in the LORD our God Is the salvation of Israel. "But the shameful thing has consumed the labor of our fathers since our youth, their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. "Let us lie down in our shame, and let our humiliation cover us; for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, since our youth even to this day. And we have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God." "If you will return, O Israel," declares the LORD, "Then you should return to Me. And if you will put away your detested things from My presence, And will not waver, And you will swear, "As the LORD lives," In truth, in justice, and in righteousness; Then the nations will bless themselves in Him, And in Him they will glory." (Jeremiah 3:21-4:2, NASB).

1) We find pain and affliction. (Jer 3:21)
Whenever God's people disobey God, they will face affliction of all sorts just as Deut. 28 has promised. They of course were unfortunately not at the top of the hill calling upon Jehovah. That would have been so wonderful and effective. They called out to their heathen gods. Because of this, their weeping and supplications had no effect. Physical, emotional, spiritual and societal difficulties poured into their lives.

2) God calls out to them to return. (Jer 3:22a)
They are faithless but God as the faithful One calls them to turn back. They don't deserve this call but it still comes, faithfully comes. If they come, God promises healing. He will heal their faithlessness.

3) God's people call out their response (Jer 3:22b)
Those who love God call out in response they they will return. But more than this, they will return to their first Lover - Yahweh. They only have one covenant God. They will return to Him.

4) The shame of their faithlessness (Jer 3:23-25)
All their cries on the hills are in vain. Their generations have been destroyed because they have turned away from God. It is time that they confess their sin and return to God. We have had chances before to return but we haven't. Now they have a chance, will we?

5) God's promise (Jer 4:1-2)
God promises that if they return, God will turn everything around. This is not just a little individual promise but a great promise for individuals and nations. God is looking for determination. He is looking for devotion.

All through the scriptures, this theme of spiritual apostasy is described by adultery. This is where love once committed is no longer carried out. This is happening both in our marriages because it has happened spiritually. What will turn us around except that we repent and return to the Lord Himself.


There is a strong connection between purity of spirit and purity of body. Today, there are many that would protest this connection. They believe what is done in the bedrooms is private matter just so it doesn't hurt anyone.

But from our parable of nature, we see that the Lord is not only inspecting our bedroom behavior but our mind 'room.' How we handle our sexual lives reflects our spiritual lives. Throughout this passage of Jeremiah 3, we see a constant application of this point. Each paragraph drives another point in.

Jeremiah 3:1-???? illustrate the habit of God's people in the days of jeremiah. God compared them to a divorced wife.

We need to remember that decption is a big part of the story. We see God's people not aware of their spiritual adultery. They could not see its evil.

The principle goes like this:

  • The degree that a person is spiirtually pure, he will be pure in his heart toward his wife.
  • To the degree a person is not spiritually pure, he will be impure in his desire for his wife.

God has created the spiritual relationship to mirror the marital relationships.

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Biblical Foundations for Freedom

By Paul J. Bucknell