‘The word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem, Thus says the LORD, “I remember the devotion of your youth, your love as a bride, how you followed me in the wilderness, in a land not sown. Israel was holy to the LORD, the firstfruits of his harvest. All who ate of it incurred guilt; disaster came upon them, declares the LORD’ (Je 2:2-5).
The quality of devotion God expects of us is typified by three metaphors in our text. Firstly, God demands our freshest devotion. This is equivalent to our bridal, original and unsullied love. Our ageless God cannot settle for faded, tired love in place of our youthful, fresh affection! Secondly, God demands our flat-out pursuit. That’s what the wilderness metaphor is all about: our unconditional devotion, our readiness to follow Him regardless of unfavourable circumstances. God appreciates those who seek Him when there’s no harvest, promotion or breakthrough in sight. Thirdly, God demands our first-fruits loyalty. Not only should we seek Him first, He must enjoy our service before anyone else. We shouldn’t just give Him our tithes and first-fruits, we should BE an offering to Him first. That’s what holiness is about. God knows very well whether or not our devotion to Him is our utmost. He demands nothing less.