As you read each passage, pray for God’s help. Ask yourself:
- What does God reveal about Himself?
- How is your own heart revealed?
- How does this passage underline the wonder of God’s love for us in
- Jesus Christ, and your own need of Christ as Saviour and Lord?
- Turn these truths into prayer and praise.
16 October Jer 30:1-11
The early chapters of Jeremiah have emphasized God’s judgement on His
wayward people, but now a promised hope for the future begins to shine
through more and more. God will use his people’s sufferings to discipline
but not destroy them (vv.5-7, 11). Beyond their captivity in Babylon, God
will restore His people (vv.3, 8-10).
17 October Jer 30:12-24
Amazing grace! God’s people have an incurable wound (v.12), but God’s
love will heal them (v.17). Their future is an abundant life under a leader
who shares God’s heart (vv.18-21). God and His people will live together
in a world where evil is finally defeated (vv.22-24). As elsewhere in
prophecy, these words hold layers of fulfilment. The exiles who returned
from Babylon received a first instalment. Yet the exuberance of the
promises points to a more distant fulfilment in which we will share in
Christ (note v.24: the vision looks forward to God “fully accomplishing”
the purposes of His heart).
18 October Jer 31:1-14
Ch.31 continues to celebrate God’s mercy that will result in the return
from exile. However, the vision looks forward to a far greater gathering of
God’s people than anything that happened in the liberation from Babylon.
Jeremiah is given a glimpse of the glorious future that awaits the whole
people of God. The source from which all our blessings flow is revealed in
v.3: “I have loved you with an everlasting love …”
19 October Jer 31:15-30
The picture of Rachel weeping for her children (v.15) speaks of the
tragedy of Israel’s lost tribes, scattered by the Assyrians more than a
century earlier. But Rachel can dry her tears (v.16) because her children,
described here as “Ephraim”, have begun to mourn for their sins
(vv.18-20). The Lord will welcome home Israel and Judah (vv.21-25) and
give His people a fresh start (vv.27-30).
20 October Jer 31:31-40
Israel’s obedience to the old Mosaic covenant had proved to be no more
than skin-deep at best. God now speaks of a new covenant that will
change hearts and produce a true marriage between God and His people
(vv.31-34). In vv.35-40 Jeremiah uses images from the world he knows to
give a picture of God’s final and complete deliverance of His people. The
new covenant is ultimately made possible by the death of Jesus (1Cor
11:25; Heb 8:7-13; 9:15).
21 October Jer 32:1-15
Judah is besieged, Jeremiah is imprisoned, and King Zedekiah still refuses
to listen to God’s word (vv.1-5). Yet God offers a sign of hope as Jeremiah
is instructed to buy a field from a family member (vv.6-12). The point is
that despite the current destruction of Judah, God promises that in the
future He will restore normal life (vv.14-15). Jeremiah’s action at such a
traumatic time of siege showed his faith in God’s word.
22 October Jer 32:26-44
The oddness of buying a field in the midst of national catastrophe
prompts Jeremiah’s prayer (vv.16-25). He affirms that “nothing is too
hard” for the Lord (v.17). But does it really make sense to buy a field at
this time (vv.24-25)? The Lord confirms that nothing is too hard for Him
(v.27), and repeats His current purpose of judgement (vv.28-35). But then
He promises to bring salvation out of destruction (vv.36-41) – and that’s
the really hard thing to do! So Jeremiah’s purchase is not foolish, but full
of hope (vv.42-44).