The Jewish people were exiled, forcibly removed from their country, to live in various locations against their will. They did not have a choice. In Jeremiah, God is telling them He is ready to bring them home. And what a homecoming it will be. God is actually telling the people how excited He is to have them return.
When we speak of a homecoming, we automatically link it to a school homecoming. Think of the young people who graduated last year. They come back to see “old” friends that they have not seen in – days? And homecoming events will have the ten, twenty, thirty, forty, and more class reunions. An opportunity where people come back to see “really old” friends that they have not seen, sometimes, in years. We get together to share memories and good times, heal old wounds, forgive one another, and look to the future with hope. We see the future in the youth still in school. We hear of the accomplishments of others who are working.
The Jewish people were not so fortunate. They were coming back to a place of destruction. Jerusalem had been destroyed some seventy years earlier. The people left behind did the best they could. Going to Jerusalem meant being exposed to hostile peoples. Doubtful food supplies. Little water. No place to worship. But they were going home with hope. Hope of rebuilding. Hope of starting a new life. A hope in their God who is filled with joy waiting for their return.
What about your homecoming with God? He is waiting for you. He is excited to have you turn back to Him. Just think of the homecoming that takes place in heaven the day you get there!
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.