God offers a tremendous promise in today’s Bible reading*: If you will return to me, I will return to you. God had exiled His people to Babylon to punish them for turning their backs on Him to pursue other gods. Now, under Darius’ rule, God tells His people that He is ready to restore them to their homeland … if they will return to Him.
So tell the people, ‘This is what the LORD of Armies says: Return to me—this is the declaration of the LORD of Armies—and I will return to you, says the LORD of Armies.
Zechariah 1:3 (CSB)
I have pointed out before, regardless of how far you may have fallen in your relationship with God, if you are one of His, He will always take you back. In fact, He cannot deny one of His children returning.
This saying is trustworthy: For if we died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him; if we deny him, he will also deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.
2 Timothy 2:11–13 (CSB)
It reminds me of the story of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15. If you’ve been around church for very long, you probably remember the story. A man’s younger son asks his father for his share of the family inheritance and leaves, squandering all that he has on “wine, women, and song” as the saying goes. He comes to his senses and returns to his father, knowing that he has disgraced his family and under Jewish Law, is worthy of being stoned to death.
But instead of stoning his son, the father wraps his arms around his son — effectively protecting his son from other people stoning him — and the father welcomes his son back into the family.
God is waiting for you to return to Him. He promises to return to you if you will return to Him.
* Chapters covered in today’s reading: