When reading through the Old Testament we find that the children of Abraham continually struggled to obey God. This is prominently seen in the exile period. The prophet Jeremiah gives us a deeper look into this time period.
Jeremiah was given a difficult job. The majority of his messages proclaimed judgment and destruction toward the nation of Judah (the southern kingdom of Israel). The reason for this was their hard hearts and stiff necks that produced a blatant disregard of God's law. This was not a message that was easy to give, or to hear. Yet, even while His people ignored Him and sought other gods, God was still sending himself.
God reminded them of the reality of their sins (Jeremiah 5:19), but He also spoke of what was to come in the form of a righteous branch from the line of David. Here, we prophecy of Jesus that states, "He will deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land" (Jeremiah 23:5). In those days, God will break the bonds of His people and restore to them their health (Jeremiah 30:8, 17).
The Israelites had to deal with the mess that was created by their action. Of this, Jeremiah writes in depth. But, when we look closely, we also find the hope of what was to come. A hope for all nations to be blessed, a hope for the redemption of the world, and a hope for a new covenant to be made with His people.
"The days are coming," declares the Lord,
"when I will make a new covenant
with the people of Israel
and with the people of Judah.
It will not be like the covenant
I made with their ancestors
when I took them by the hand
to lead them out of Egypt,
because they broke my covenant,
though I was a husband to them,"
declares the Lord.
"This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel
after that time," declares the Lord.
"I will put my law in their minds
and write it on their hearts
I will be their God,
and they will be my people."
Our missional God sends Himself - even during times of distress. Jeremiah emphasizes that when we are not listening to His voice, His voice is still present.
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