21 May, 2024

July 30 | Hope in God’s Faithfulness

by | 24 July, 2023 | 0 comments

Unit: Jeremiah (Part 2) 
Theme: Hope for the Hopeless 
Lesson Text: Jeremiah 33:1-11, 15-26 
Supplemental Texts: Genesis 8:22; 9:8-17; 15:1-6; 2 Samuel 7:16, 25, 26, 29; 2 Chronicles 21:7; Job 38:1-3, 12-13, 19-20; Psalm 104:19-23 
Aim: Hold as confidently to God’s faithfulness as you hold to day following night. 

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Download a PDF of this week’s lesson material (the study by Mark Scott, the Application by David Faust, and Discovery Questions by Michael C. Mack): LOOKOUT_July30_2023.

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By Mark Scott

For God, the calendar is deeply embedded in covenant. God made covenants with people (e.g., Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, etc.), but he also made covenants with creation. Day follows night and spring follows winter. God’s faithfulness drives the rhythms of creation (Genesis 8:22; Job 38:4, 19-20; Psalm 104:19-20). 

In the same way, God’s faithfulness drives the rhythms of his dealings with his people. Jeremiah 33 is about God’s promise to restore his people to their land and their prominence. The alternating pattern of judgment and blessing continues in this chapter. God’s faithfulness is one thing on which his people can consistently count.  

It Still Doesn’t Look Good 
Jeremiah 33:1-5 

As eager as the people of Judah might want to lean into the faithfulness of God, their circumstances at this juncture do not look good. For one thing, Jeremiah remained in jail (i.e., the courtyard of the guard). But the word of the Lord can never be imprisoned (cf. 2 Timothy 2:9). It came to Jeremiah and revealed that the people’s puny efforts to resist their Babylonian captors would be futile.  

The LORD (his revealed name), who made heaven and earth, pleaded with the people to call on him. God promised that he would answer their call and even teach them unsearchable things. But the people’s futile efforts to defend themselves was evidence they trusted more in their own intelligence and power than in God’s faithfulness. They sought to protect themselves from their oppressors by tearing apart their houses and palaces to use as plugs for the holes in the city walls. But their efforts were insufficient to stop the siege ramps and the sword from devouring Jerusalem. The people’s wickedness led to dead bodies being strewn throughout the city. It did not look good. 

But It Will Look Better 
Jeremiah 33:6-11 

As sure as day follows night, God would restore his people. God promised numerous things to Israel as part of this restoration. He promised them health and healing (i.e., perfectness and soundness). This blessing would enable them to enjoy abundant peace and security (shalom—well-being—and “truthfulness”).  

God would bring both the northern kingdom and the southern kingdom back from captivity. He would be part of their rebuilding efforts (through Ezra and Nehemiah). More importantly, he would cleanse (purge or purify) them from sin and forgive (pardon) their rebellion. The fruit of this would reintroduce and proclaim God’s name among the nations. Renown, joy, praise, honor, and awe would come to God from the nations. Gentiles would be forced to admit that Israel’s prosperity and peace were God’s doing. 

In times past, Judah and Jerusalem were desolate (wasted) and uninhabited. But in the days ahead, sounds of joy and gladness such as that of a bride and bridegroom would echo through the land. The voices of people bringing their offerings to God would ring through the hills. The song would be a familiar one, “Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for the LORD is good; his love endures forever” (cf. Psalms 100:4-5; 106:1; 107:1; 136:1-3). Because Israel has a covenant-making and faithful God, Israel’s fortunes (literally the captives returned) would be restored. 

Because of the One Who Will Make the Difference 
Jeremiah 33:15-26 

David ultimately will make the difference in this restoration. His name is mentioned six times in this section. But by this time, he has been dead for almost 500 years. So what David are we talking about? This really means the righteous Branch from David’s line. This must be Jesus. He is the one who will do what is just and right. He is the Righteous Savior.  

He will bring his kingly identity alongside of his sacrifice (notice the place that the Levitical priests occupy in this text) to make things new. This reality is so sure that Jeremiah likened it to the covenant God made with day and night. This will happen, just like day follows night. God would even increase the impact of this influence by causing David’s descendants and the Levites to increase as stars in the sky and sand on the seashore (cf. Genesis 15:5).  

All of God’s promises find their “yes” (fulfillment) in Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20). Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and David are all players in this drama of salvation as God restores not just Israel, but the entire universe. God’s faithfulness is as sure as day and night. 

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