Samuel Abatte

Week 26: Jeremiah: Chapters 30-52

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Regathering: When God chastises His people it is to teach and discipline them and not only to punish them. Evidence of this is seen in His promise to return the people to the Promised Land after 70 years (Jeremiah 29:10). God comforts His people with the promise of bringing them back (Jeremiah 23:1-4; Jeremiah 24:5-7). They are not banished forever, only temporarily to teach them a lesson. God will move in the heart of Cyrus to allow the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple.

So important is this return that God says that the day will come when He will be known more for the regathering of His people from among the nations, than for the Exodus (Jeremiah 16:14-15; Jeremiah 23:7-8). This statement finds application in our modern times. God has regathered the Jewish people to the modern state of Israel. This regathering is truly without precedent in history. How great is our God and how much must He love the Jewish people to bring them back after they were dispersed in 70 A.D.

New Covenant: Not only does God promise to regather His people to the land but He promises to establish a “new” covenant” with them. He makes this promise twice so show His sincerity (Jeremiah 31:26-34; 32:37-41). By “new” He does not mean a replacement for His original covenant – God newer fails to keep His word. Instead it represents a revision, an improvement. It is like refinancing your home – the interest rate may change but the mortgage is still in place. He promises to be closer to them than ever before. He promises to write His law on their hearts so they will faithfully follow after Him. “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares Yehovah, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know Yehovah,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares Yehovah, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Messiah – Righteous Branch: The most profound promise God makes to His people is the coming of the promised Messiah. Jeremiah uses as His title the “Righteous Branch.” In Jeremiah 23:5-6 we read: “Behold, the days are coming,” declares Yehovah, “When I will raise up for David a righteous Branch; and He will reign as king and act wisely And do justice and righteousness in the land. “In His days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely; and this is His name by which He will be called, ‘Yehovah our righteousness.’ This promise is repeated in Jeremiah 33:14-15. The ultimate fulfillment of this promise will occur when Jesus comes to reign on the earth. This is our blessed hope as well!

Dr. Samuel Abatte is a physician practicing in Wasilla, Alaska. This column first appeared in the Frontiersman, a Wick newspaper serving the Matanuska-Susitna Valley of Alaska.