Key Verse: “The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.”
AS DISCUSSED IN OUR previous lesson, the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah while he was in prison, instructing him to redeem the field of his uncle, illustrating how the redemptive price paid by Jesus will give mankind the opportunity to once again possess the earth in perfection. In today’s lesson, we read that the “word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison.” (Jer. 33:1) This second message from God added further details to the hope conveyed previously. The Lord said, “I will … shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”—vs. 3
In verses 4-7, God revealed to the prophet that although Israel’s holy city, Jerusalem, and the king’s houses of Judah, had been “thrown down,” and were presently filled with the “dead bodies” of those he had allowed to be slain because of their wickedness, this was only to be for a limited period. In due time, God told Jeremiah, “I will bring … health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to [turn away], and will build them, as at the first.”
The Lord further indicated that the “health and cure” for Israel would require that they first be cleansed and pardoned—forgiven—for “all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.” (vs. 8) Although God is pleased to cleanse and forgive those who have sinned against him, this does not come to any unless they first express a sincere desire to repent and reform their conduct toward him. By promising that he would do this, God evidently looked down the stream of time to when Israel would eventually express such a change of heart. Then it would be his good pleasure to cleanse, forgive, “heal and cure” them.
The time for the fulfillment of God’s good pleasure toward his people will be at the beginning of Christ’s kingdom, when Israel, in true humility and repentance, will recognize their Messiah, and cry, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” (Matt. 23:39) Then Israel will be “a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.”—Jer. 33:9
Our Key Verse says that once again the sounds of joy, gladness, and praise to God, will ring throughout the land of Israel, as they proclaim his great mercy toward them. Such will be the blessed results of the establishment of Christ’s kingdom on earth. Yet, blessings to Israel will be only the beginning. God’s word is replete with statements which indicate that the blessings of the kingdom will extend to “all the nations of the earth.”—Gen. 22:18