“Return, faithless people; I will cure you of backsliding.” Jeremiah 3:22
Return, faithless, backsliding… each of these three words is derived from the same Hebrew root so in our English translation we lose a bit of the force of the Hebrew repetition of that root – Turn, ye children that have turned, I will heal your turnings.*
Have you found yourself in “chains” so to speak due to some of your own “turnings” or maybe as a result of others “turnings”? Paul had. Acts 16:16-40 tells us he was put in prison, in chains, yet was heard praising God; the other prisoners were listening and suddenly EVERYONE’S chains came loose! Could God be using your praise even in your chains to set someone else free?
Paul was chained another time to Roman guards, under house arrest (Acts 28:28-31) yet it would seem Paul didn’t see himself as chained to them, but rather that THEY were chained to him! He was able to preach till his heart was content! Are your chains being used to set another free?
He came to set the captive free; will we let Him cure us, will we turn to Him? He is able not only to heal but to keep us from backsliding into that same sin that chained us before! If He is using our chains to free another, lets choose to praise Him, and if in our praise He frees even more, well, to God be the glory, the One who can break ANY chain!
PS. Don’t let having been in chains keep you from the calling, the purpose only God can complete in you. Paul wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon while in prison!
Jeremiah 30:17, 33:6, 2:5, 2:13, 2:27, 6:16, James 4:8, Isaiah 61:1-3
*Ellicott’s commentary for english readers