- Jer. 33:10-13; 30:1-24; 31:1-26
The heart of GOD can be clearly seen during today's reading. GOD is in the middle of a severe punishment of His people because of their sins. Nebuchadnezzar is attacking the city and GOD has promised numerous times to give it over to him. Those who remain in the city will die terrible deaths of starvation and plague and violence. With all of this terrible darkness, GOD gives Jeremiah a message of comfort to be shared with the Israelites.
12 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In this place which is desolate, without man and without beast, and in all its cities, there shall again be a dwelling place of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. 13 In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the lowland, in the cities of the South, in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, the flocks shall again pass under the hands of him who counts them,’ says the LORD.
(Jer. 33:12-13 NKJV)
GOD reminds Israel again that it is their sins which have brought this fate upon them:
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.
(Jer. 30:12-15 NIV)
GOD promises healing and a restoration of the relationship with His people:
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.’”
(Jer. 30:17-22 NIV)
GOD wants the Israelites to be completely assured that it is He who brings both the current distress for punishment and the coming prosperity after the punishment is complete.