Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Aug 14, Jer 30-31

Today's readings are Jeremiah 30-31. Tomorrow's are Jeremiah 32-34.

As we have seen before, in spite of their stubborn rebellion, God will redeem his people! This will be an act of a sovereign God that has little to do with the behavior of His people and much to do with who He is. He will redeem because of his steadfast faithfulness and holiness. Look at Jer 30:3, 8, 12 & 21. 
"Jeremiah 30:3 For behold, days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will restore the fortunes of my people, Israel and Judah, says the Lord, and I will bring them back to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall take possession of it.”" and

"Jeremiah 30:8 “And it shall come to pass in that day, declares the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off your neck, and I will burst your bonds, and foreigners shall no more make a servant of him.",

"Jeremiah 30:12 “For thus says the Lord: Your hurt is incurable, and your wound is grievous.",

"Jeremiah 30:21 Their prince shall be one of themselves; their ruler shall come out from their midst; I will make him draw near, and he shall approach me, for who would dare of himself to approach me? declares the Lord." 

The Lord will relieve their burden and restore the fortunes of His people. The yoke they wear is captivity, brought on by their own actions. They are hopeless and incurable, separated from God. Yet, there will come a day when God will raise up a new leader that will bring them back into his presence, something only God can do for they are unable to do it themselves.

We see Israel personified in the likeness of Rachel and Jacob in Jer 31, who will mourn bitterly and cry out to God for mercy. Although some will die, God will initiate a new covenant. One in which there will be deliverance from death. 

At this point Jeremiah is looking even further down the road than Israel's return from captivity in Babylon. That captivity and redemption is temporary and does not address the fallen nature of God's children. It is, however, symbolic of an ultimate deliverance for God's people and a rewriting of the old covenant, something only God can do. This is not God coming to the bargaining table to renegotiate His terms with His people. It is God moving sovereignly, revealing His glory in both those He redeems (His chosen people) and those He condemns (the ones that oppress them and reject Him). 

In this we see that, like Israel, our only hope, is in God's goodness and faithfulness. Just like Israel, we are, in and of ourselves, incurable and solely dependent on God's grace and mercy. If we understand this fully, we will have a deeper and more profound appreciation of grace. We will know we have received it because He is God and is true to His word that He will redeem His own. Once we understand this and believe it, we become precious in his sight and experience His great love, a love that brings us close to Him not based on who we are or anything we've done, but based on Christ in us. 

Israel's story is our story. It is a story of unmerited favor flowing freely from a loving and merciful God, a God who owes nothing to no one and does everything for His own sake, revealing His own glory. The beautiful blessing is that the vessels He reveals His glory in and through are His children, everyone who repents and calls upon the name of Christ as Lord and Savior. We who are believers are the blessed benefactors of God's self-revelation and glorification. 

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