Monday 20 January 2014

Bible Book:

“And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them.” (v. 9a)

Jeremiah 33:6-9a Monday 20 January 2014


In popular memory, Jeremiah is often remembered as a doom andgloom merchant! The book that bears his name, however, tells of aprophet who should also be remembered for some wonderful words andactions of hope. His God-given task is not only "to pluck up and topull down, to destroy and to overthrow", but also "to build and toplant" (Jeremiah 1:10).

Today's short passage is part of the second "word of the Lord"(Jeremiah 33:1) that came to Jeremiah while hewas confined in the court of the guard in the palace of the king ofJudah. (The first is recorded in chapter 32.) It tells Jeremiah to buy a fieldin his hometown, Anathoth, during the siege of Jerusalem in theyear 588/587 BC. The prophet does what he is told and says, "Forthus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: Houses and fieldsand vineyards shall again be bought and sold in this land" (Jeremiah 32:15).

In chapter 33 Jeremiah says that the Lord who made the earth,who formed it to establish it, tells him great and hidden thingsthat he has not known (Jeremiah 33:2-3). The first of these starts bysaying that the Chaldeans (the Babylonians) shall destroy Jerusalem(verses 4-5), but continues with a promise to bring recovery andhealing (verse 6). These are understood in terms of abundance ofprosperity and security (verse 6), the restoring of the fortunes ofJudah and Israel (verse 7), and cleansing from and forgiveness ofall the guilt of their sin against God (v. 8).

This promised healing and recovery will certainly be of benefitto Judah and Israel. They will also serve as a witness to others ofwhat God can do: Jerusalem shall be to God "a name of joy, a praiseand glory before all the nations of the earth".

To Ponder

  • There are those who speak of the world and/or the Church interms of 'doom and gloom'. What words and actions of hope do youhear and see?
  • How do you relate those words and actions of hope to God'spresence and action?
  • How might you share in enabling these to be a witness to othersof what God can do?
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