THE SOUND OF SINGING…
“Restore our fortunes, Lord, like streams in the Negev” (Psa. 126:4).
Read Jeremiah 30:1–24
Restoration of Israel
30 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. 3 The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess,’ says the Lord.”
4 These are the words the Lord spoke concerning Israel and Judah: 5 “This is what the Lord says:
“‘Cries of fear are heard—
terror, not peace.
6 Ask and see:
Can a man bear children?
Then why do I see every strong man
with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor,
every face turned deathly pale?
7 How awful that day will be!
No other will be like it.
It will be a time of trouble for Jacob,
but he will be saved out of it.
8 “‘In that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty,
‘I will break the yoke off their necks
and will tear off their bonds;
no longer will foreigners enslave them.
9 Instead, they will serve the Lord their God
and David their king,
whom I will raise up for them.
10 “‘So do not be afraid, Jacob my servant;
do not be dismayed, Israel,’
declares the Lord.
‘I will surely save you out of a distant place,
your descendants from the land of their exile.
Jacob will again have peace and security,
and no one will make him afraid.
11 I am with you and will save you,’
declares the Lord.
‘Though I completely destroy all the nations
among which I scatter you,
I will not completely destroy you.
I will discipline you but only in due measure;
I will not let you go entirely unpunished.’
12 “This is what the Lord says:
“‘Your wound is incurable,
your injury beyond healing.
13 There is no one to plead your cause,
no remedy for your sore,
no healing for you.
14 All your allies have forgotten you;
they care nothing for you.
I have struck you as an enemy would
and punished you as would the cruel,
because your guilt is so great
and your sins so many.
15 Why do you cry out over your wound,
your pain that has no cure?
Because of your great guilt and many sins
I have done these things to you.
16 “‘But all who devour you will be devoured;
all your enemies will go into exile.
Those who plunder you will be plundered;
all who make spoil of you I will despoil.
17 But I will restore you to health
and heal your wounds,’
declares the Lord,
‘because you are called an outcast,
Zion for whom no one cares.’
18 “This is what the Lord says:
“‘I will restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents
and have compassion on his dwellings;
the city will be rebuilt on her ruins,
and the palace will stand in its proper place.
19 From them will come songs of thanksgiving
and the sound of rejoicing.
I will add to their numbers,
and they will not be decreased;
I will bring them honor,
and they will not be disdained.
20 Their children will be as in days of old,
and their community will be established before me;
I will punish all who oppress them.
21 Their leader will be one of their own;
their ruler will arise from among them.
I will bring him near and he will come close to me—
for who is he who will devote himself
to be close to me?’
declares the Lord.
22 “‘So you will be my people,
and I will be your God.’”
23 See, the storm of the Lord
will burst out in wrath,
a driving wind swirling down
on the heads of the wicked.
24 The fierce anger of the Lord will not turn back
until he fully accomplishes
the purposes of his heart.
In days to come
you will understand this.
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.
ReflectIn the darkness of despair and loneliness, it can be difficult to imagine that God might intervene. Listen for God’s comfort.
It’s not easy news, but it is good news—just as God had promised to earlier generations (Deut. 30:2,3). After their captivity in Exile he will bring his people home (3,10). They might not understand right now, but it will become clear (24). There is no question, their punishment had been just (14,15), their sin “incurable” (12). But… God will heal their wounds himself (17). Jeremiah’s words are spoken in the context of God’s time, the coming of Christ the Messiah, and even, of our own hope of the still-to-come King Jesus (9,21). Their restoration would be wholly dependent on the costly grace of God: “by his wounds we are healed” (Isa. 53:5).
Here is the focus, says God: “I will … I will …” (17–22). He is with us to save us and give us his peace (10,11). No longer despised; no longer exploited; no longer living amidst ruins—he will restore our fortunes (17). A time of singing and thanksgiving is coming (19; Song of Songs 2:12). Watch out for how God is fulfilling his purposes (24)—in your life and in our world.
One day, Christ will bring us home. Write a reminder, “Heaven is my home,” and post it where you can see it. Whenever life gets you down, glance at your note and remember.
“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy” (Psa. 126:3).
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.