A STUDY OF THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH
Hope for the Future
Jeremiah 30 SCC 3/26/17
God had threatened Judah with judgment for her disobedience, but still the nation did not turn back to Him. But before this suffering began, God instructed Jeremiah to write in a book prophecies of hope. They looked forward to when Israel and Judah would reunite in Promised Land restored to their God.
GOD PROMISES TO PERSONALLY RESTORE HIS PEOPLE IN THE FUTURE
God instructed Jeremiah to write these words of comfort and hope in a book that would be available to the exiles after Jerusalem fell v 1-2. For, behold, days are coming, declares the Lord v 3. Jeremiah used the words “the days” in two different ways in his book. First, is the day of destruction when God would judge Judah for her sin. This day was fulfilled when Judah fell to Babylon. Second, was the day of restoration when God would bring the nations of Israel and Judah together into a new relationship with Him and He will deal with the Gentile nations. By looking at the immediate context, we can discover if he’s talking about the near or far future. Also, because we can look at what happened in history, we can discover that some of these things have not yet happened, therefore, they would be far prophecy.
PT: God has a plan for the ages. There is a culmination to all of history. God declares that is a yet future moment when all things converge in his final plan. God is moving all things in that direction.
Jeremiah’s prophecy was that God said I will restore the fortunes of My people Israel and Judah and I will also bring them back to the land that I gave to their forefathers, and they shall possess it v 3. This gave hope to those who would soon (70 yrs) be taken out of the land to Babylon. There needed to be a permanent record of these predictions since the people rejected the Lord's words. When He restored the fortunes of Israel and Judah and returned the people to their land, the book would vindicate His faithfulness and His predictions of this judgment to come.
PT: Past literally fulfilled prophecy is the greatest argument for literal fulfillment of future prophecy.
The nation’s faces distress. These are the words which the Lord spoke concerning Israel and concerning Judah v 4. I have heard a sound of terror…dread…no peace v 5. A time of great terror, dread, and unrest was coming. Men would behave as though they were in labor v 6. They would hold themselves in pain with his hands on his loins as women do when they are about to give birth. This is a picture of powerlessness and panic. The return of these two nations is preceded by the time of Jacob’s distress and there is none like it v 7. Because He is talking about the distress to both of these nations, He must be referring to future Tribulation time when both nations will receive unparalleled persecution (Mt24:15f).
That time will end when Christ appears to rescue His elect and establish His kingdom (Matthew 24:30-31; 25:31-46; Revelation 19:11-21; 20:4-6). A coming period of time would be the worst "Jacob" (Israel) had ever experienced, or would ever experience. This anticipates the Tribulation, in which Israelites will suffer more greatly than they ever have or ever will (Rev. 6—18). Perhaps the Lord referred to His people here as Jacob because the patriarch Jacob experienced many of his own extreme distresses. However, but he will be saved from it. The Israelites would not perish in this distress because the Lord promised them deliverance, both physical and spiritual.
Here are things promised about the future restoration in the Millennial Kingdom: I will break his yoke, strangers shall no longer make them their slaves v 8. The Israelites were not slaves in Assyria or Babylon. At that time, God would set His people free from all those who restrained and enslaved them. They shall serve the Lord their God and David their king, whom I will raise up for them v 9. This points to a future deliverance when Christ and David will rule. I will save you from afar and your offspring from the land of their captivity v 10. The Lord promised to save His people from distant lands and their descendants from the land of their captivity. The Israelites would return to their land, where they would enjoy lasting peace and security. Jacob shall return and shall be quiet and at ease, and no one shall make him afraid. I will destroy completely all the nations where I have scattered you v 11 (1 Thess 4:11). I will not destroy you completely. But I will chasten you justly, and will by no means leave you unpunished (for their sins against God). The judgment described in these verses cannot possibly be restricted to the downfall of the Babylonian monarchy, but is the judgment that is to fall upon all nations yet in the future at the end of the Tribulation.
PT: There is a literal future for Israel. That future is not now. Jews are still unbelievers, pagan, and unrepentant. But this is a promise for their literal blessed future.
COMPUNDED SIN COMPOUNDS THE JUDGMENT, YET GOD IS MERCIFUL
Israel’s sin caused her wounds. Your wound is incurable, and your injury is serious v 12. There is no one to plead your cause...no recovery for you...all your lovers have forgotten you v 13-14. No one could intercede effectively for them because the Lord had determined to punish them. Israel's political allies had forsaken her and would not help her. Even crying out would not help them. The idols and other nations cannot help them. God has wounded you...with the punishment of a cruel one, because your iniquity is great and your sins are numerous. God’s sovereignty, I have done these things to you—Don’t doubt it—God’s in charge and control v 15! God had inflicted His people with a wound from which they could not recover.
Nevertheless, the Lord would turn the hostility of Israel's enemies back on themselves, and punish them with the punishment they had inflicted on His people v 16. God would heal Israel’s wounds. For I will restore you to health and I will heal you of your wounds, declares the Lord. He would restore the Israelites to health and heal their wounds v 17. Part of the reason for His salvation would be the nations charge that God had forsaken His people. God would vindicate himself. Gods character is important.
NB: There are degrees of sin. Greater sin, greater judgment. Jesus said I say to you; it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city (Lk 10:12-16). Here is a hierarchy. Sodom had such gross sin, including homosexuality, that God rained fire and brimstone on it (Genesis 18), yet it did not have the Gospel of the kingdom preached in it. So its people will have less punishment at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15) than the villages where the 70 went, proclaiming the Gospel. With greater knowledge comes greater accountability and greater judgment. All whose names are not written in the Book of Life will go to the Lake of Fire. But the degree of their punishment will depend on the amount of knowledge they had. Those who had the most knowledge of the truth will receive the severest punishment (see Hebrews 10:29).
FULL RESTORATION AWAITS A REPENTANT JEWISH PEOPLE AND NATION
The city [Jerusalem] shall be rebuilt on its ruin, and the palace shall stand on its rightful place v 18. God promised to restore Israel's tribal fortunes to have compassion on His peoples' towns and homes, and to rebuild Jerusalem and the royal palace there. From them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of those who make merry v 19. Thanksgiving and merrymaking would mark the people. The Lord would increase their numbers and honor them. I will multiply them...I will also honor them. I will punish all their oppressor’s v 20. Their children would be secure and happy, as they were before God judged the people. The people as a whole would again be stable, and the Lord would punish their oppressors. Their leader shall be one of them [a Jew, not a Gentile ruler such as Nebuchadnezzar or Herod] and I will bring him near, and he shall approach Me v 21. You shall be My people and I will be your God v 22. Israel and God would again be in a covenant relationship as people and God.
The tempest of the Lord! Wrath...will burst on the head of the wicked v 23. God’s judgment on the wicked nations who opposed Israel v 20 would break out on the wicked like a severe storm. It would not slacken until the Lord accomplished all His purpose v 24. The people did not understand this prophecy fully when the prophet first gave it, but they would in the far distant future.
1 God always wants what serves our best interest. That is on his terms but we have to want that too.
2 Sin is never in our best interest. The deception is that we believe it is. So we compete with God about what’s in our best interest.
3 God has a marvelous life for you if you trust Him with it rather than compete with him over it.