Faithlessness vs Unfaithfulness

Jeremiah 3:11 “Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah.”

I’m reading through Jeremiah for this month and I come to a devastating passage – one that pierces my heart. Israel, the Northern Kingdom, has been cut off. She had lost faith, walked away, and was done. Judah, the Southern Kingdom, remained. But she had watched her sister and had learned her ways. Now she is turning to false gods – yet still proclaiming to be the “chosen bride.”

In Jer. 3:11, God pronounces judgment on Judah, saying, if I’m reading it correctly, thatJudah’s unfaithfulness is worse than Israel’s faithlessness. Help me out here – is that what this passage is saying?

If so – it slays me. It means that, to God, a lack of belief is one thing, but to proclaim that we believe, that we are His lover, yet continually betray that covenant is worse. I see the truth in this. It would be one thing for a woman to reject me and walk away. It would be a completely different story if she proclaimed her love to me, covenanted with me, yet then kept leaving me for other lovers – all the while proclaiming that she is my chosen bride!

Our betrayals are worse – less righteous – than just walking away in unbelief. It’s the less righteous part that kills me. I tend to think my stumblings and my turnings are okay because I am still His. I am still righteous! Yet this seems to say otherwise. How can I possibly proclaim to be righteous, to be His chosen bride – yet continue to walk away from Him? I’m worse than an unbeliever. Less righteous.

This has huge implications for the church as well. We think we are righteous simply because of who we are. I know God’s righteousness is imputed, credited, to us. And I know it is apart from any works. But the after-effects are what I’m talking about. The church thinks it can go off in any direction it wants and is still “righteous.” This is a dangerous mistake. We must be a holy vessel, set apart unto the Lord.

Jeremiah 3:11 is a killer verse.

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