Rejection

September 20 — Jeremiah 2:1–13

“I remember the devotion of your youth,
how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the desert,
through a land not sown.”
(Jeremiah 2:2b)

Normally a very strong woman, she entered my office that day broken and weak. “Pastor, what can I do? I am almost certain that my husband is cheating on me.” And with that, the tears began to flow. She was suffering the pain of rejection — of having her love thrown back in her face.

You have probably experienced some form of rejection at some time in your life. Perhaps the joy of your “first love” gave way to the despair of rejection. Maybe you have experienced the hurt of being “dumped” by someone. When it occurred, you probably promised yourself that you would never let it happen again or that you would never hurt someone else like that. Perhaps you’ve experienced rejection in another form — from someone else like a father, mother, sister, brother, best friend — someone close to you. Regardless who rejected you, the feelings are similar: hurt, emptiness, loss.

Who do you turn to at such times? Who can understand? Certainly God has never felt the way you do, has He? Yes, He has! Jeremiah reveals that God understands our feelings of rejection for He, too, has been rejected by His first love.

In the second chapter of Jeremiah, we read the story of how Israel dumped God. He writes of their relationship being like a husband and wife. Israel was, as verse 3 declares, holy to the Lord, the first fruits of his harvest.” They meant more to Him than they could ever imagine. But then they betrayed God. In verse 5, God basically says, “What have I done to deserve this?” He has done nothing wrong. In fact, God did everything right, yet He was rejected by His people. Can you see why God is hurt so deeply by Israel’s rejection? Can you relate to God, rejected by those you love and seeing them wander away?

But, can you also relate to the Jews? I mean, have you at times felt empty, unfulfilled, frustrated, angry, or depressed? How have you tried to lessen these feelings? In fact, why have you even had such feelings? Most of those feelings result from not have a sense of fulfillment. What we need to understand is that there is only one Person who can ever bring you lasting fulfillment in life. It is not your spouse or closest friend. It is not you through rigorous attempts to find “self-fulfillment.” It is the One that the world rejected but still went all the way to the cross for each and every one of us.

Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full” (John 10:10). He offers us this life — this fulfillment — and waits for us to respond. How will you respond today — accept Him and His gift or reject Him and His offer of fulfillment?