Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him," declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 31:20)
Why did God often speak against Ephraim? Ephraim (the ten tribes) gives the answer to that.
'You disciplined me like an unruly calf, and I have been disciplined. Restore me, and I will return, because you are the LORD my God. After I strayed, I repented; after I came to understand, I beat my breast. I was ashamed and humiliated because I bore the disgrace of my youth.' (Jeremiah 31:18, 19)
They were like an unruly calf; without any self-control. They did as they pleased and God disciplined them. Like Ephraim, many believer's stray away from the Lord and then they fall prey to satanic attacks. Pain, shame and humiliation are what follows.
God has given us the Holy Spirit to guide us and lead us in the paths of righteousness. God says,
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you. (Psalm 32:8, 9)
The bit and bridle treatment is often painful to endure but God uses it so that we may not be eternally lost. God is merciful and the promise for today vouches for that.
"Is not Ephraim my dear son, the child in whom I delight? Though I often speak against him, I still remember him. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I have great compassion for him," declares the LORD.
Yes, God remembers us in our low estate and wants to renew his relationship with us even after we stray. He is always compassionate. He loves us with an everlasting love. May his name be glorified.