Friday

‘With weeping they shall come and with consolations I will lead them back.’ (v. 9)

Jeremiah 31: 1-13 Friday 26 March 2021

Psalm 18:1-6

Background

Jeremiah is warming to his theme of rebuilding, return, healing and restoration. There is no more mention of punishment or chastisement but merely of God’s love which, as verse 3 tells us, is an everlasting love. It’s as if Jeremiah has worked through all the talk of anger and justice and is now able to let it go and focus instead on this beautiful and poetic image of rebuilding the nation. It is of course a very practical rebuilding, based very much on this earth in which the people dance and sing and plant vineyards.

 As well as the rebuilding, Jeremiah offers an image of God’s personal involvement in bringing his people back together again. As they come in all of their brokenness and vulnerability, God promises "with consolations I will lead them back" (v. 9)  "in a straight path in which they shall not stumble." It is a beautiful, tender image of a Father guiding his vulnerable children home.

In verse 3 we are told that God is continuing in faithfulness to his people and in verses 10 and 11 this is expanded upon when we are told that God has scattered Israel and redeemed Jacob. This is a reference to the promises that God made to Jacob (who would be renamed Israel) in Genesis 28. Jacob is told that his offspring would be like dust and spread to the north, south, east and west and that God would bring him back to the land. The promise of return in Genesis seems to be just for Jacob, but here Jeremiah finds a wider meaning in which God’s promises of return are for the whole of his people.

The passage ends with a picture of God turning mourning into joy and giving them gladness for sorrow. In consequence the people are described as "radiant over the goodness of the Lord" (v. 12). 

To Ponder:

  •  Jeremiah’s vision of restoration is based very much on this earth. What does this teach us, if anything about the mission of the Church today?
  • Do the promises given to Jacob by God have any relevance to you?
  • What might a person who is "radiant over the goodness of the Lord" look like?
Previous Page Thursday
Next Page Saturday