Today: [Jeremiah 33] The Unfailing Covenant of God’s Goodness: In this chapter Jeremiah receives several words associated with God’s repetitive declarations of His faithfulness to His people. At this point when the city is about to fall, and the nation of Judah be destroyed, people are asking “what about God’s promise?” Do you ever feel like God’s promise has failed you? In this chapter, we find answers to this dilemma and an unfailing affirmation of God’s promise to perform His word in our lives.
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[Jer 33:1-26 KJV] 1 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying, 2 Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD [is] his name; 3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. 4 For thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword; 5 They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but [it is] to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city. 6 Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. 7 And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. 8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. 9 And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.
This chapter begins with a second visitation of God to Jeremiah while he is yet in prison under king Zedekiah. Zedekiah put Jeremiah in his dungeon because Jeremiah dared to prophesy that that the city of Jerusalem would fall to the Chaldeans. In this midst of this suffering, Jeremiah in the previous chapter is instructed to purchase a piece of land from his uncle, as a sign and confirmation that one day the land and the city and the people of God will be brought back from Babylon and be restored to their possessions. Jeremiah himself struggles with these words as they seem so far off from ever coming to pass. To the incredulity of the prophet and the people he prophesies to, the Father invites the prophet to call to Him for the answers that he seeks.
Have you ever let questions in your heart go unanswered because you weren’t sure of what God might say? At this point in Jeremiah’s life, he has questions, but he isn’t taking them to the Father because he doesn’t know what to expect. Therefore, God provokes the man, challenging him and encouraging him at the same time: “Call unto Me and I will answer thee…” Go ahead and ask God. Just be prepared for answers that might surprise you. Unlike earthly counselors who often only tell us what we already know or what we want to hear – when you hear the counsel of God He will show us GREAT and MIGHTY things that we know not! Praise God that He doesn’t leave us in ignorance.
At this time, apparently king Zedekiah is mustering all the families of Jerusalem to go out in battle against the Babylonians. To that end the Father declares that he will not be with them in battle because He has hidden His face from the city. The transgression, and sin and idolatry that has been unchecked in Jerusalem for 100 years has provoked the heart of God to withdraw and allow the city to reap the consequences of its rebellion against the law of God and the Spirit of God that dwells between the cherubim behind the veil in the Holy of Holies.
Though God declares He will allow Jerusalem to fall, yet in verse 6 we see a repeated and emphasized promise: God will ultimately bring health and cure to the people He will cure them of their backslidings and bring them peace and truth? What is the peace and truth He brings? Remember that Paul said in Rom. 14:17 that the kingdom is righteousness, peace and joy. The peace that He brings then is the peace found in the kingdom of God embodied in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. The truth God promises in this verse is none other than the truth Jesus declared to His disciples in the gospel of John:
[Jhn 14:6 KJV] 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
What we need to see hear is that the promise of God is not nationalistic or political. The promise of God to solve the ills of mankind, whether Jew or Gentile, is found in the gift of the Lord Jesus Christ, given as the savior of the world in our behalf. All God has to give us is in the person of His son. Only through Jesus is the captivity of men’s hearts turned back and our backslidings healed by His internal, abiding grace.
10 Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say [shall be] desolate without man and without beast, [even] in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast, 11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD [is] good; for his mercy [endureth] for ever: [and] of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD. 12 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Again in this place, which is desolate without man and without beast, and in all the cities thereof, shall be an habitation of shepherds causing [their] flocks to lie down. 13 In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the vale, and in the cities of the south, and in the land of Benjamin, and in the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, shall the flocks pass again under the hands of him that telleth [them], saith the LORD.
Verse 8 tells us that God will bring the people again to Himself and cleanse them from iniquity. Notice that the captivity didn’t cleanse them. They went into captivity needing the cleansing of God and they remained in captivity for 70 years, still in need of cleansing. Captivity and hardship do not make us more godly. It is when the Father brought them and when He brings us from our captivities that we are cleansed. By what means are we cleansed? Jesus declared to us in the gospel of John:
[Jhn 15:3 KJV] 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
It is the word of God that cleanses us. Hardship does not bring the cleansing that God is looking for. Spiritual experience does not cleanse us with the cleansing of God. Worship experiences or visitations of angels to not cleanse us. It is the word that Jesus IS to us and SPEAKS to us that cleanses us and makes us fit to stand upright in His presence. It is through the cleansing of His word we are made to be a joy and a praise and an honor to God in the earth. In that cleansing is the promise of the goodness of God and the prosperity the Father promises in verse 9 to procure to us because of His great love wherewith He has loved us.
14 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. 15 In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. 16 In those days shall Judah be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely: and this [is the name] wherewith she shall be called, The LORD our righteousness. 17 For thus saith the LORD; David shall never want a man to sit upon the throne of the house of Israel; 18 Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually. 19 And the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah, saying, 20 Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; 21 [Then] may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers. 22 As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the sea measured: so will I multiply the seed of David my servant, and the Levites that minister unto me. 23 Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, saying, 24 Considerest thou not what this people have spoken, saying, The two families which the LORD hath chosen, he hath even cast them off? thus they have despised my people, that they should be no more a nation before them. 25 Thus saith the LORD; If my covenant [be] not with day and night, [and if] I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; 26 Then will I cast away the seed of Jacob, and David my servant, [so] that I will not take [any] of his seed [to be] rulers over the seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: for I will cause their captivity to return, and have mercy on them.
In verse 11 the Father promises that out of the ashes of the destruction of Jerusalem the voice of joy will be restored. The voice of gladness, and wedding celebration shall once again be known. This ultimately happened in Jerusalem, 70 years later when the captives returned. It also happens in our own lives as those that are betrothed to Christ. It is the heart of God and the commitment of God to put His praises in our mouth because of His goodness, and because of His mercy that endures forever. Our faithfulness is fleeting and perishable, but in the midst of our own failure to live pleasing to Him, His everlasting joy, and mercy and goodness continue to fall out to us, to bring us closer to Him and ultimately deliver us from all inward and outward captivity.
Verse 14 promises that as the Father has performed the words that brought judgment – words given over 100 years from Isaiah to Jeremiah, even so the Father will perform the GOOD THINGS that He has promised to us. There may be things in our lives that come and cause the Father to look away from our situation. The eyes of God are too pure to look upon sin. Yet there is a determination in the heart of God that He will not abandon us, even when our lives do not reflect His holiness and character. He will woo us with His love, and His goodness until our hearts are turned fully to Him and we are saved from our own rebellions. The goodness of God will be performed in our lives just as it was performed in due time upon the city of Jerusalem and the nation of Judah.
The people no doubt struggled to understand how God would allow the line of the kings of David to be extinguished, therefore in verse 17 God’s promise is that there will ever be a son of David to sit upon the throne. Notice that it doesn’t necessarily means that the throne will be there to sit on, but rather that a man of the line of David would be available and eligible to ascend to that throne. For 70 years there was no throne in Jerusalem to sit on but during all that time, even in captivity the seed of the line of David was preserved right down to Jesus who sits on the throne of David forever. After the resurrection of Jesus, the Jews and the Romans hunted down and executed every member of the natural family of David. In the second and third centuries searches were made by the church and the testament was that not one of the natural line of Jesus survived – yet Jesus, in the heavens continues to sit on the throne of David both then, now and for eternity. Therefore, as Jeremiah is told by God – that the promise of God regarding David and his son is as sure as the covenant that establishes the cycle of night and day and that the line of David will never fail even for eternity – which promise is fulfilled in Christ.
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