THE DAYS ARE COMING…
Lord, lift up our eyes from our concerns in this world to see and celebrate the coming King.
Read Jeremiah 23:1–8
The Righteous Branch
23 “Woe to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people: “Because you have scattered my flock and driven them away and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow punishment on you for the evil you have done,” declares the Lord. 3 “I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them and will bring them back to their pasture, where they will be fruitful and increase in number. 4 I will place shepherds over them who will tend them, and they will no longer be afraid or terrified, nor will any be missing,” declares the Lord.
5 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord,
“when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch,
a King who will reign wisely
and do what is just and right in the land.
6 In his days Judah will be saved
and Israel will live in safety.
This is the name by which he will be called:
The Lord Our Righteous Savior.
7 “So then, the days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when people will no longer say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt,’ 8 but they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the descendants of Israel up out of the land of the north and out of all the countries where he had banished them.’ Then they will live in their own land.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectHave you ever felt homesick?
In foreign exile far from home – sometimes we might feel like this as God’s people living in this world. The events we witness through the news, the values of our society—all can make us despair and realize our own powerlessness. Imagine, for a moment, how the Israelites might have felt reading these words of Jeremiah. Finally, there is good news!
God is on the side of his people. Their leaders have led them into trouble—and God will put things right in his time (2). Sometimes, judgment brings healing. Here, in its wake, God promises a time of peace and fruitfulness, with leaders who care for his people (3,4). And, more than this, God renews the promises of his covenant—a Savior is coming who would be “the Lord” (5,6).
There is hope for us too. Like the Israelites who heard Jeremiah’s words, these verses change our perspective. No longer would they be the people rescued from Egypt (7,8); the day was coming when they would be the people rescued from Exile, who would look forward to the coming Messiah. For us, who have been saved by the power of “Our Righteous Savior,” we are now the people who look for the day of his second coming.
Read Philippians 3:20,21 and John 17:13–18. How could this principle, that this world is not our home, change your values and actions in life?
Celebrate the good news of God’s promises for the days which are coming.