Jeremiah 3:22 MEANING

Jeremiah 3:22
(22) Return, ye backsliding children . . .--We lose, as before, the force of the Hebrew repetition of the same root, Turn, ye children that have turned, I will heal your turnings. As so often in Hebrew poetry, we have the answer to the invitation given in dramatic form, and hear the cry--we might almost call it the litany--of the suppliants, "Behold, we come unto thee." They at last own Jehovah as their one true God.

Verse 22. - Return, ye backsliding children, etc.; more literally, Turn, ye turned-away sons; I will heal your turnings (as Hosea 14:4). It seems strange at first sight that this verso does not stand before ver. 21. But the truth is that ver. 21 describes not so much the "conversion" of the Jews as their willingness to "convert" (an archaism of King James's Bible, which we may well regret), or "turn" to God. Christ must touch, or at least make his presence felt, in order that the sick man may be healed; a special call of God must be heard, in order that the sinner may truly repent. Behold, we come unto thee. Efficacious, and not "irresistible" grace, is the doctrine of the Old Testament.

3:21-25 Sin is turning aside to crooked ways. And forgetting the Lord our God is at the bottom of all sin. By sin we bring ourselves into trouble. The promise to those that return is, God will heal their backslidings, by his pardoning mercy, his quieting peace, and his renewing grace. They come devoting themselves to God. They come disclaiming all expectations of relief and succour from any but the Lord. Therefore they come depending upon him only. He is the Lord, and he only can save. It points out the great salvation from sin Jesus Christ wrought out for us. They come justifying God in their troubles, and judging themselves for their sins. True penitents learn to call sin shame, even the sin they have been most pleased with. True penitents learn to call sin death and ruin, and to charge upon it all they suffer. While men harden themselves in sin, contempt and misery are their portion: for he that covereth his sins shall not prosper, but he that confesseth and forsaketh them, shall find mercy.Return, ye backsliding children,.... This is the call of the Jews to repentance in the latter day; See Gill on Jeremiah 3:14.

and I will heal your backslidings; that is, I will forgive your sins. Sins are the diseases of the soul, and the wounds made in it; and pardoning them is healing them. So the Targum,

"I will forgive you when ye return;''

see Psalm 103:3, this is done by the application of the blood of Christ, the only physician, and whose blood is the balm that heals every wound; and this springs from the love of God, and his free favour to his people, even the riches of his grace and abounding mercy through Christ; and is the great motive and inducement, and what gives the greatest encouragement to return unto the Lord, Hosea 14:1.

Behold, we come unto thee; the Targum represents this as what the Jews pretended always to say, and did say, in a hypocritical manner, with which they are upbraided,

"lo, at all times ye say, we return to thy worship, save us;''

and Jarchi is of opinion that these are words the prophet put into their mouths, and taught them to say, and to confess in this manner: but they are rather their own words, arising from a true sense of sin, under the influence of divine grace, and encouraged with the hope and assurance of pardon; declaring that as they were called upon to return, so they did return, and now were come to God by repentance, with confession and acknowledgment of sin, and by prayer and supplication for pardon and by the exercise of faith upon him for it; and also were come into his house to wait upon him, and worship him in his ordinances:

for thou art the Lord our God; not merely as the God of nature and providence, or in a natural way, but in a way of special grace, of which they now will have an application by the Spirit of God.

Courtesy of Open Bible