In our psychological age, we have come to call our affairs "addictions," but God calls them "adultery." Listen again to his words to the Israelites through Jeremiah:

You are a swift she-camel
running here and there, a wild donkey accustomed to the desert,
sniffing the wind in [your] craving—
in [your] heat [how can I] restrain [you]?
Any males that pursue [you] need not tire themselves;
at mating time they will find [you]. Do not run until your feet are bare
and your throat is dry. (Jer. 2:23-25)

God is saying, "I love you, and yet you betray me at the drop of a hat. I feel so much pain. Can't you see we're made for each other? I want you to come back to me." And Israel's answer, like that of any addict or adulterer, is: "It's no use! I love foreign gods, and I must go after them" (Jer. 2:25).

Perhaps we can empathize with the ache God experienced as Israel's "husband" (and ours when we are living indulgently). Having raised Israel from childhood to a woman of grace and beauty, he astonishingly cannot win her heart from her adulterous lovers. The living God of the universe cannot win the only one he loves, not due to any lack on his part, but because her heart is captured by her addictions, which is to say, her adulterous lovers.



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