Do you need encouragement today? Then these words will speak to you. On one level, the words are God’s words to the nation of Israel, but on another level they are for the church today. In fact, the Lord makes it clear that He is speaking about our dispensation.
We start off these chapters with Jeremiah imprisoned because the king doesn’t like what he is saying. Zedekiah wants to shut him up! The Babylonian army is surrounding Jerusalem, ready to wind up this long-awaited war, and the king and his cohorts are still in denial.
As for Jeremiah, he keeps on prophesying. God tells him to speak and he obeys.
The character of our God is so clear as we see what Jeremiah says. The prophecies concerning their transportation to Babylon are coming into fruition immediately, yet before they even leave, the Lord is bringing words of hope.
The Lord promises that He will eventually bring his people, the Jews, back to their own land and bless them once again. They must stay in Babylon for the seventy appointed years, but after that time, He will cause them to return.
But it’s even better than that, and here’s where we come in. Jeremiah begins to speak of a new day and a new covenant.
No longer will the law be a thing apart from the people, but it will be written on their hearts. “I will put My law within them, and on their hearts I will write it; and I will be their God and they will be My people.” (31:33) Oh boy! He is talking about you and me – those of us who are born again with His Spirit within us. Then He says, “And they shall be My people, and I will be their God. And I will give them one heart and one way that they may fear Me always, for their own good, and the good of their children after them.”(32:38-39)
We are living in that glorious day. Indeed after 70 years the Lord caused a remnant to return and to rebuild Jerusalem. Yet the promise was for more than that. The promise was for the day when Jesus would come and fulfill His mission. The new King would be the King of all the earth – not just Israel.
So these words are being fulfilled. And there is even more to come, so we need to be observant of the times and seasons of God.
Let’s keep our eyes open. We have a terrific future ahead. God’s Word is true and it will come to pass!
We were saved, “not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing by the Holy Spirit.” (V. 5)
We don’t and couldn’t deserve our salvation. It’s totally according to the mercy of our great Father, who poured his love out for us.
So we receive it – that’s all. We allow our precious Holy Spirit to wash over us, and allow His word to refresh and instruct us. That’s what we do.
And just as a healthy plant can’t help but bear fruit, so we can’t help but do His will in our lives. We share about Him, because it bubbles out of us. We give, because it’s our new nature. We love, because He first loved us.
Fruit that remains. That’s what I want!