Scripture reading – Jeremiah 30

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Continuing our study of Jeremiah, we come to a tragic chapter in Judah’s history. Many in Judah had already been removed from the land and were living in captivity in Babylon. Except for the city of Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar’s army occupied Judah, and Babylon’s soldiers were positioned outside the city walls.

The setting for Jeremiah 30 was one of despair, and Jeremiah 31:26 indicated that the LORD came to Jeremiah while he was sleeping. We read, “1The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, 2Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book” (Jeremiah 30:1-2).

 

Jeremiah 30

 

The LORD Remembered His Covenant with Israel (Jeremiah 30:3)

Though the hour was dark and seemingly hopeless, the LORD had not forgotten His covenant with Israel. He assured Jeremiah the day would come when He would remember Israel and Judah and “cause them to return to the land that [He had given] to their fathers, and they [would] possess it” (Jeremiah 30:3).

From a historical perspective, the preservation and restoration of Israel and Judah to their land required a miracle. After all, the ancient nations of Jeremiah’s day were inevitably conquered and annihilated. Throughout history, the great conquering nations of the past, Assyria, Babylon, Greece, and Rome, are all gone. The ruins of those nations stand as a testimony to the inevitable tides of the rise and fall of countries. Yet, today, the Jewish people inhabit the land of Israel!

“The Time of Jacob’s Troubles”

“The Time of Jacob’s Troubles” – The Consequences of Sin and Disobedience (Jeremiah 30:4-9)

We are again reminded that Old Testament prophecies often carry an immediate application and a far-reaching implication. While Jeremiah 30:4-9 described Judah’s immediate sorrows, it also gave a far-reaching promise of hope and restoration. The LORD, addressing Israel and Judah through his prophet Jeremiah, reminded the people that their wickedness brought upon them the afflictions they were experiencing.

Students of prophecy are familiar with the phrase, “It is even the time of Jacob’s [Israel’s] trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). That saying also describes the Great Tribulation, just before the Second Coming of Christ (Matthew 24:21-31; Mark 13:19-27; Revelation 7:14). The time of tribulation will bring war on the earth as has never been known (“trembling…fear, and not of peace”, Jeremiah 30:5).

Jeremiah 30:6 describes the terror of the day that Babylon would enter Jerusalem and destroy the city. The sounds of battle were likened to a scene of sorrow and death (“faces turned into paleness,” Jeremiah 30:6). Such will also be the scene of the great tribulation. Yet, the LORD promised Israel “shall be saved out of it” (Jeremiah 30:7b).

Returning to the immediate implication of the prophecy, Jeremiah prophesied that Israel and Judah would be delivered when the LORD would “break his [Babylon’s] yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds [ropes; chains] (30:8). However, Jeremiah 30:9 is still future, and will not be fulfilled until Christ returns to reign in Jerusalem as “King of kings, LORD of lords” (Revelations 17:14; 19:16). Then Israel will “serve the Lord their God, And David their king, whom [God] will raise up unto them” (Jeremiah 30:9). Of course, Jesus Christ will reign in the Millennium.

 

Promise of Vindication and Restoration (Jeremiah 30:10-12)

Speaking to those in captivity, Jeremiah encouraged them not to give into fear and anxiety (Jeremiah 30:10). Though all seemed lost from a human perspective, the LORD assured His people, “I will save thee…And Jacob [Israel] shall return, And shall be in rest, and be quiet, And none shall make him afraid. 11For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee” (Jeremiah 30:10-11a). Though the LORD had used the nations to punish and scatter Israel and Judah for their sins, He promised He would not allow them to be vanquished as the other nations (Jeremiah 30:11-12).

Sadness and Solitude

Sadness and Solitude (Jeremiah 30:14-16) 

Rather than turn to the LORD, Israel and Judah foolishly looked to other nations (“thy lovers”) to ally themselves against Assyria and Babylon (Jeremiah 30:13-14). Nevertheless, when the people needed help, none of those nations answered their cries (Jeremiah 30:13-14). While Babylon arrested the focus of Jerusalem and Judah, Jeremiah reminded the people that their suffering was because of their sins. Therefore, declared the LORD, “I have done these things unto thee” (Jeremiah 30:15).

 

Compassionate Restoration (Jeremiah 30:17-24)

I conclude today’s study with good news, for Jeremiah declared the LORD would heal His people of their sorrows (Jeremiah 30:17). Jerusalem would be rebuilt and repopulated. Joy would be restored (Jeremiah 30:18). The Jewish people would increase (Jeremiah 30:18). The government would be restored (Jeremiah 30:21). As He promised, the LORD would renew His covenant with Israel. They will be His people, and He will be their God (Jeremiah 30:22).

The people received Jeremiah’s letter amid captivity and persecution by Babylon. Yet, Jeremiah declared the LORD in His wrath would come upon their enemies like a whirlwind, and the nations that oppressed Israel and Judah would fall (Jeremiah 30:23-24).

Israel and Judah had broken their covenant with the LORD, but He did not forsake them. Whether in Jerusalem or Babylon, He remembered His promises and that they were His people, and He their God.

What an excellent, blessed assurance!

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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