Scripture reading – Jeremiah 30-31

The focus of today’s devotional commentary is Jeremiah 30.

The timeline for Jeremiah 30 follows Babylon conquering all of Judah with one exception, Jerusalem, the capital city. Many of the inhabitants of Judah are already captives in Babylon and the fear, suffering, and despair they feel on behalf of Jerusalem is almost overwhelming.

When all seemed lost, the LORD came to Jeremiah and commanded him to write in a book a word of hope (30:1-2). The prophecies recorded in Jeremiah 30-31 had not only an immediate implication that would be fulfilled in seventy years (29:10), but also a future hope that would be fulfilled following “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (30:7).

Jeremiah 30 – A Message of Comfort and Hope

The first prophecy was a promise of a day of restoration when both Israel and Judah would be restored to their land. With the exception of Israel and Judah, the populations of all other ancient nations have been assimilated into the populations of their captors. God, however, kept His Covenant promise to preserve the seed of Abraham (Genesis 12). The LORD assured His people, “I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah…I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it” (30:3).

Jeremiah also foretold a day of great judgment (30:4-7). A terrible, foreboding time of sorrow, terror, war and famine (30:5). In the immediate, the days described led up to “the time of Jacob’s trouble” and Jerusalem’s destruction. However, in the future, prophetic sense it is a period Christ described in the New Testament as the “Great Tribulation” (Matthew 24:21-31; Mark 13:19-27). Though Israel would be hated of all nations, God promised Israel, “he [Israel] shall be saved out of it” (30:7).

A day of salvation is also foretold (30:7c-11). The yoke of servitude Israel would bear in the Babylonian captivity, the LORD promised, “I will break his [Babylon’s] yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve [i.e. enslave] themselves of him [enslave Israel]” (30:8). Faithful to His promise, seventy years would pass (25:11-12) and God’s people would be freed by Cyrus king of Persia, to return to their homeland where they would rebuild the Temple (Ezra 1:1-3) and Jerusalem.

Jeremiah also prophesied of a future day when Israel would “serve the LORD their God, and David their king, whom I [the LORD] will raise up unto them” (30:9). This Messianic promise will be fulfilled at the close of the Great Tribulation when Christ returns to reign in Jerusalem during the Millennial Kingdom. Although still future, the LORD promised Israel and Judah, “I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee” (30:11).

God promised His divine protection of His people, assuring them that those nations that have oppressed Israel and taken them captive, will themselves be oppressed and destroyed (30:16).

The LORD promised His people, “I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds” (30:17). In that day, Jerusalem will be rebuilt (30:18) and God’s people will give thanks and rejoice (30:19) and the LORD will say, “ye shall be my people, and I will be your God” (30:22).

I will close today’s devotional commentary with a beautiful, poetic expression of God’s love for His people. Promising His grace and repeating His promise to renew His covenant with Israel, which the people had broken in their wickedness, we read,

Jeremiah 31:1, 3 – “I [will] be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people… I have loved thee [Israel] with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (31:1, 3).

Though Israel had broken their covenant with the LORD, God never stopped loving His people and promised He would one day reconcile them to Himself.

How is it possible for a sinner to be reconciled to God? By faith in Christ’s substitutionary sacrifice for our sins, His death, and bodily resurrection from the grave!

Romans 5:8-10 – “8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. 10  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.”

Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith