Ever since the big mess began, our relationship with the Eternal One has been damaged and there is a distance between us. Before, he was close with his people and he has been calling us back to a close relationship.
If you can, read this very short passage in Jeremiah 31.
The passage overflows with intimacy: covenant, I took them by the hand, I loved them as a husband loves his wife, write them on their hearts, I will be their God, and they will be my people, everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me, I will forgive…
One thing he says that catches me: “When I took them by the hand.” I don’t know about you, but I need all the help I can get. The picture of our God taking me by the hand and helping me really strikes a chord in my heart. Of course, this isn’t just in the Old Testament: Jesus was in the habit of taking people by the hand.
There was the little girl who died – he takes her by the hand and lifts her right up out of death. There is the blind man and the demon-possessed boy. In both cases, Jesus takes them by the hand healing and delivering them. For me, this closeness, this walking together that the Bible pictures, is brought together in one word that Jesus used several times – Abide.