'Appreciating God's Love'
Gen 48:3-4 Then Jacob said to Joseph: "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, 'Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a multitude of people, and give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.'"
God told the Israelites that because the inhabitants of Canaan land had defiled the land by committing the abominable practices found in Leviticus 18, God had annihilated them.
Though God promised Jacob (Israel) that his descendants would possess the promised Canaan Land as their everlasting inheritance, they too would be displaced if they had committed abominations and had rebelled against His commandments, just as the Canaanites were displaced for their abominable practices.
Lev 18:24-28 "'Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you."
God is full of Love and Mercy
Jer 7:3-7 Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: "Amend your ways and your doings, and I will cause you to dwell in this place. Do not trust in these lying words, saying, 'The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are these.' For if you thoroughly amend your ways and your doings, if you thoroughly execute judgment between a man and his neighbor, if you do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt, then I will cause you to dwell in this place, in the land that I gave to your fathers forever and ever."
Though the Israelites had committed many abominable practices, yet God only wanted them to repent by amending their wicked works and ways and then God would forgive them of their sins.
Jews' Abominable Practices
Jer 7:8-11,15 "Behold, you trust in lying words that cannot profit. Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, burn incense to Baal, and walk after other gods whom you do not know, and then come and stand before Me in this house which is called by My name, and say, 'We are delivered to do all these abominations'? Has this house, which is called by My name, become a den of thieves in your eyes? Behold, I, even I, have seen it, " says the Lord."
The Israelites had committed similar abominable practices as the Canaanites and though God had constantly sent His prophets to warn them of their abominations, they refused to listen nor repent.
Our Father who is righteous and just, had to fulfill His words by displacing them from the land and sent them into captivity.
Jer 7:13-15 And now, because you have done all these works," says the Lord, "and I spoke to you, rising up early and speaking, but you did not hear, and I called you, but you did not answer, therefore I will do to the house which is called by My name, in which you trust, and to this place which I gave to you and your fathers, as I have done to Shiloh. And I will cast you out of My sight, as I have cast out all your brethren—the whole posterity of Ephraim."
Israel Broke the Old Covenant
Jer 31:31-34 "Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah— not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know the Lord,' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
God was as a husband to Israel by lovingly, gently and wisely leading the Israelites into the promised land. He also displayed His signs and wonders to encourage and strengthen their faith in Him.
He provided His priesthoods to show them how they can please Him by their sacrifices, thanksgivings, worship and most of all their obedience to His law.
He also sent prophets to lead and guide the kings from errors, yet they rebelled against Him. If these special Israelites could not be saved even with such great love shown to them, how else can the Gentiles be saved?
Thank God that when the time is ripe, He will make a New Covenant by pouring out His grace that both Jews and Gentiles will be saved by faith and not of works.