AN INCURABLE WOUND HEALED
Lord, thank You for delivering me out of my own captivity during years past.
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.
“Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together” (Jer. 31:13).
Have you ever, when traveling by train, pondered the difference in the view depending on which way your seat faces? If facing forward, you see where you are going; if facing backwards you see where you have been. In this chapter Jeremiah seems to move his seat! He has been looking back at what has happened in the past—that is, Judah’s total failure to keep the covenant—and turning slightly forward to what will happen in the near future—that is, exile.
Now, however, he turns right around and looks to the future when God will eventually bring healing and restoration to the nation which at present appears fatally wounded. Parts of his message sounds like that of the false prophets. The difference is that Jeremiah’s message of hope takes fully into account the reality of the people’s sin and of God’s judgment on them, which is both necessary and certain. Only when they recognize where they are now can Jeremiah point them forward to their future destination. The train is still moving, and he helps them to see that although the territory through which they have to travel will be unpleasant, they will by God’s grace eventually emerge into a bright and hopeful future. They will be enabled to return to their homeland and the covenant can be restored. The reiteration in verse 22 of the old covenant formula, when God says, “You will be my people and I will be your God,” is a huge encouragement to all who have heard and heeded all of Jeremiah’s words! One is reminded of the Good Friday call—today is Friday, but Sunday is coming!
Jesus prayed that his followers might be with him, see his glory, and have within them the Father’s love and the Son himself!
God promises to heal his people of their wounds (17). Of what kind of wounds has the Lord healed you?
Lord, when I travel through difficult terrain, even when caused by my own bad choices, help me to remember my glorious destiny.