Teshuvah, the Gate to Freedom, the Way out of the "Straits".
This is some excerpts from this weeks' HafTorah portion, paraphrased:
Jeremiah 2: 4-29 ~ "People of Elohim, pay attention to what He has to say! He asks, 'What fault did your ancestors find in Me, that caused them to forsake following Me and run after the gods of the nations? What have they accused me of, in order to justify their rejection of me to run after nothings, and therefore become nothings?! They have yet to seek Me in repentance! ...
I will declare My case against you! And your future generations, which you are training as strangers to me, which you are teaching to follow after imitation gods! Please tell me what other nation ever forsakes their gods? Though their so-called gods (which are also called religious preference, political correctness, social acceptability, self-realization,priorities, goals, and desires, etc.) are pretend gods and are not real at all, but are a figment of their own evil imaginations! Still are they not relentlessly faithful to them? Yet my people will use any excuse to exchange their G-d, a real and living G-d, a mighty G-d who has loved and provided for them, for mirages that can not do anything for them at all, except to insure their demise! They have trade their Glory for worthless trash!
Be alarmed and aghast you heavens! Shudder in terror and disgust oh earth!', says Adonai, 'for My people have committed two errors - they have abandoned Me, their fountain and source of living water, and have dug for themselves wells, cisterns, worthless wells that are so broken that they will never hold water, even the polluted water that my people pour into them, pretending they are real!...
How can you say, 'I am holy and not defiled'?!' How can you be so bold as to declare that you have not followed worthless idols?! Look at your conduct and understand what you have done! You act like camels in heat! You run after your fleshly desires without restraint! You deny yourself nothing that is within your reach! Except My presence! That you have done without! And then you dare to accuse Me of wrongdoing, saying that it is I who have left you!?
Stop before it is hopeless, and you are hopelessly deceived! I urge you to reconsider your position, before you really come to believe that your father is a log, and that rocks gave you life! The shepherds have failed to lead, and the prophets have uttered the insanity of the masses. They have turned their backs to me and not their faces!
But when trouble comes, the trouble that they have bought and paid for with their insolence and selective ignorance, then they will cry out to me in accusing tones - 'Where are You, G-d? Rouse Yourself and save us!' - Then I will say to them, Where are your gods in which you have trusted, those to whom you have given your time, your affection and your goods? Where are those to whom your children have been sacrificed, deliberately or by default?! Why do you not harass them to rouse themselves, since you have attributed power to them?! Let them save you, the many things you run after and trust in! You have as many gods as you do cities! Surely that is enough help to save you from your troubles! Why argue with Me? Why expect help from Me?!' , says Adonai! Go harass the gods you have chosen to serve!' "
Wow. Why indeed? The time to repent is always NOW. And that is a great use for the grace we talk so much about as well. The time will come when grace and time are gone, and repentance will no longer be possible. We should spend out time carefully and use this opportunity wisely.
Selah....And Shabbot Shalom!