Tuesday 23 March 2021

Bible Book:

‘For I will restore health to you, and your wounds I will heal.’ (v. 17)

Jeremiah 30: 1-17 Tuesday 23 March 2021

Psalm 23


Jeremiah wrote a letter to the exiles in Babylon, in chapter 29, to say their exile will last for 70 years and they should therefore settle down and build their lives in that place. He advises the people to "seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile" (v. 7). This piece of advice can easily translate to Christians who consider themselves to be strangers and aliens: we should seek the welfare of the world in which we live.

In contrast to prophet Hananiah’s optimistic words in chapter 28, Jeremiah offers a mixture of judgement and hope in chapter 30. The hope comes with the promise that God will restore the fortunes of Israel and Judah and bring them back to their land. The promise is also about restoration of health and healing of wounds. But this hope is not sugar-coated with blind optimism. We have already been told that this promised return will happen after 70 years of exile rather than the two years hoped for by Hananiah. This passage also states that the painful suffering that has been endured by the people of Israel and Judah has come about as God’s punishment for the their innumerable sins (v. 15).

The promised restoration won’t happen because the people repent and become righteous in God’s eyes. Instead, it is because other nations believe, as it says in verse 17, that nobody cares about Zion. In other words, God is concerned about his reputation as reflected through his interaction with Israel and Judah – God's chosen people. If they have been abandoned, then this suggests that their God is not very powerful. Of course, this is not the only reason for God’s restoration. We will find out more tomorrow.


To Ponder:

  •  What does it mean to you to "seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile"?
  • How do you feel about the idea of being chastised by God? Does reality agree with this world view?
  • Why do you think God wanted to restore and heal the people of Israel and Judah?
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