Summary: God created us for a relationship with Him in which he must come first, but our bias towards idolatry is the constant cause of all our ills.

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1.2.09 UNREQUITED LOVE Jer 18:1-17


Do you remember the days of your first crush – when you fell head over heels in love with someone, but found out to your pain that the other person didn’t feel the same about you.

Unrequited love – or love that is not reciprocated can take other forms. The parable of the Prodigal Son is one example – a story in which a father’s deep love and affection for his son is not reciprocated by the son for the father.


It happens in families – whether it is a relationship between parents and their children or brothers and sisters, there can be a deep love and longing for a relative, but one which is not reciprocated – The love is spurned. It happens between partners in a marriage too.


There are strong similarities here between God’s love for his people and the way his people spurned that love and set their affection on other things.

This was in fact the singlemost factor that led to the downfall of God’s people Israel. Their heart’s affection became set on other things – on idols. And God was hurt by their spiritual adultery, betrayal and the consequences for his people that came about as a result.

CHALLENGE: I wonder whether you and I realize just how much it matters to God that give God our heart’s affection before anything else?

That we respond to his first and greatest commandment to: ‘Lord your God with all your heart, your soul, your mind and your strength’

For to love is to do more than show affection. It means to do right and to ally ourselves with God’s cause.



• We are looking at the Scriptures as though they were written as a drama.

• The idea is that we see the big picture and so see ourselves within it.

• All too often we immerse ourselves in one part of the story and fail to see the relevance of it to ourselves because we don’t look at it as though it were either part of our own history or part of our future.

• To see the big picture is to find ourselves in the biblical story.

• In Act 1 we saw: The Curtain raised

• In Act 2: The catastrophic result of sin

• In Act 3 Scene 1 God’s choice of Abraham to be the father of not only the nation of Israel, but the spiritual father of those who become believers in Christ.

And so we looked last week at our place in the biblical story as ‘a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. ‘1 Peter 2:9

This week we are in Act 3 scene 2

And we are going to sweep through the rest of the Old Testament to observe the one thing that went wrong time and time again in the relationship between the people of God and God himself – their unfaithfulness to him.


The biblical story reads like an unhappy marriage in which the wife shows no true affection for her husband but whose affection is relentlessly given to others.

In Genesis Adam and Eve betrayed their trust in God by committing the first sin with dire consequences for the world and humankind – Instead of showing their love, trust and loyalty to God they listened to the voice of temptation and were seduced away from this – choosing instead to try to be like gods themselves. They placed their affections on something else other than their creator.

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