LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Hope for Restoration
At the end of a painful book of suffering, Jeremiah 30-33 promises restoration for the nation of Israel. These chapters follow the foretelling of the Babylonian exile (25-29) and precede the historical appendix (34-35). In chapter 31, Jeremiah remembers the past and foresees the future in prose and poetry. “In that day,” says the […]Keep Reading
At the end of a painful book of suffering, Jeremiah 30-33 promises restoration for the nation of Israel. These chapters follow the foretelling of the Babylonian exile (25-29) and precede the historical appendix (34-35). In chapter 31, Jeremiah remembers the past and foresees the future in prose and poetry.
“In that day,” says the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they will be my people.
This is what the Lord says:
“Those who survive the coming destruction
will find blessings even in the barren land,
for I will give rest to the people of Israel.”
Long ago the Lord said to Israel:
“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.
With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.
I will rebuild you, my virgin Israel.
You will again be happy
and dance merrily with your tambourines.
Again you will plant your vineyards on the mountains of Samaria
and eat from your own gardens there.
The day will come when watchmen will shout
from the hill country of Ephraim,
‘Come, let us go up to Jerusalem
to worship the Lord our God.’” (Jeremiah 31:1-6 NLT)
At the beginning of Jeremiah 31, God claims Israel as His people. This is an act of mercy. Israel wandered away and willfully rebelled against the commands of God, bringing calamity and destruction. Even so, God reminds Israel that He has loved her with an everlasting love and drawn her to Himself with unfailing love (vs. 3). ‘Everlasting’ and ‘unfailing’ are perfect words. They’re pure and without compromise.
God promises to rebuild Israel so that she may once again sing, dance, and enjoy the fruits of their labor. The word “again” is used to highlight God’s desire to restore Israel to her former condition.
Throughout the Bible, God brings His people back to Himself over and over again. He rescues, rehabilitates, and renews. God’s greatest act of restoration is given through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Because of Christ, we can be restored to God as His sons and daughters.
When I look at my personal life, I see relationships that need to be restored. Is there something in your heart, family, or community that needs to be made new? Restoration often follows loss. As you examine brokenness in yourself and in the world, invite the Lord to restore you through his everlasting love and unfailing kindness.