Years ago, our government investigated and found that a soldier had defected to a communist country. When the young man’s father heard what happened, he was devastated. He said, “My son has lost his credibility in this country and even with me, but I still love my son and want him back.” That attitude echoes what God told ancient Israel. They had sinned terribly, and as a result, God sent them into exile. But even as they left for captivity, God expressed His love for them. He looked forward to the day when they would repent and return to Him. We read this in Jeremiah 31, “Is not Israel still my son, my darling child?” says the Lord. “I often have to punish him, but I still love him. That’s why I still long for him and surely will have mercy on him. Set up road signs, put up guideposts. Mark well the path by which you came. Come back again, my virgin Israel; return to your towns here. How long will you wander, my wayward daughter? For the Lord will cause something new to happen – Israel will embrace her God.” What God said of ancient Israel, He also says to His wayward children today—“Come home.” And to those who have never known Him, He extends the invitation that they turn from their sin, and accept His Son as their Savior, so they can become members of His eternal family.