"'Woe to you, O Jerusalem! How long will it be before you are made clean?'" (Jeremiah 13:27).
Jeremiah's title, "The Weeping Prophet," was certainly well-earned. He is famous for his unceasing grief over Jerusalem and the sins of his people, weeping over them and begging their hard hearts to soften and repent.
His grief is only a reflection of the greater sorrow that God felt. Jeremiah lived among these rebellious people, but God had created them. He had made them to be His own special treasures. Their one purpose in life was to know God and glorify Him. But instead, they deliberately chose to believe in a lie, They rejected the truth of their Creator and chose instead to worship the creations of their own hands. They didn't want to worship God; they wanted to be God.
And God grieved over this. He knew what was best for His people, and they were doing the exact opposite. His justice demanded that He punish them for their rebellion, but His compassion led Him to weep over them.
Jeremiah's weeping over the uncleanness of Jerusalem, echoing the deeper expression of God's own sorrow, is a foreshadowing of a lament that Jesus Himself would utter over Jerusalem. One day as He was teaching about the hypocrisy of the Pharisees, He looked out over the city and cried, "'How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!'" (Matthew 23:37).
God's greatest desire is for us, His prized creations, to know Him and worship Him. He wants us to experience His love, but we cannot do that if we are always choosing things other than Him. How often do we stop and think about the fact that we're breaking God's heart when we disobey Him? He longs for us to be clean so that we can be with Him. He has Himself provided the way for us to become clean. He wants us.
So why do we run away?