When people use the word “utterly” they usually mean something like “completely.”   The dictionary says it means “carried to the utmost point or highest degree: absolute, total.” But God would never “utterly” destroy His people 19 gods lovebecause of His promises. When God calls Israel’s enemies to invade, He always put a limit on the amount of destruction as He did in Jeremiah 5:10. He would keep His promises to Abraham regardless of the unfaithfulness of His people. He insisted on always giving the people hope. There was never a judgement passed in which Hope was not maintained. God is always faithful to His promises. As 2 Timothy 2:13 says, even when “we are unfaithful, He remains faithful – for He cannot deny Himself.” He won’t neglect His promises to Abraham and his descendants. Even though in Jeremiah 5:11 we see that Israel had completely rebelled. God speaks again and says, “For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have been utterly treacherous to me, declares the LORD.”

God never gives up! I like the song we often sing at Church, “Oh, no he’ll never let go, through the calm and through the storm…” Why? There’s only one clear answer and that’s because, as Jeremiah puts it in Jeremiah 32:3, God “loves us with an everlasting love.” John says that when we talk about love, we’re talking about God because “God is love.” Paul explains the nature of true love in his famous passage on it in 1 Corinthians 13. He says, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not get upset with others. Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. Love is not happy with evil but is happy with the truth. Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always remains strong.”

I love Max Lucado’s little commentary on this passage. He says, “And for years that was my problem with this paragraph. It set a standard I could not meet. No one can meet it. No one, that is, except Christ. Does this passage not describe the measureless love of God? Let’s insert Christ’s name in place of the word love, and see if it rings true.  Jesus is patient, Jesus is kind. Jesus does not envy, he does not boast, he is not proud. Jesus is not rude, he is not self-seeking, he is not easily angered, he keeps no record of wrongs. Jesus does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Jesus always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Jesus never fails. Rather than let this scripture remind us of a love we cannot produce, let it remind us of a love we cannot resist—God’s love.” [1]

[1] Max Lucado, A Love Worth Giving : Living in the Overflow of God’s Love (Nashville, Tenn.: W Pub. Group, 2002).