30 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: 2 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. 3 The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their ancestors to possess,’ says the Lord.”
(Jeremiah 30:1-3 NIV)
As we begin our journey through chapters 30 – 33, verses 1 – 3 of Chapter 30 provide the overall introduction.
In verse 1, we see that this was clearly a word from the Lord. As we saw in previous chapters, Jeremiah’s peers had spread lies about restoring the exiles to the Promised Land and used God’s name to give legitimacy to their false prophecies. Jeremiah waited on the Lord and spoke the Lord’s word when it came to him.
So what was the Lord’s command in verse 2? “Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you.”
As we noted in the introduction to chapters 30 – 33, this section is often called the “book of consolation” or the “book of hope”. The fall of Jerusalem and Judah was not an instantaneous or even overnight event. Rather, it was a sad, slow, gradual fall that took many years to realize.
While the Lord is holy and just and must deal with sin, He is also loving and merciful and provides hope for a restored relationship with Himself. The Lord knew that His people would need hope to get them through these hard times, so He told Jeremiah to write down these four chapters in a book. This book-within-a-book would serve as the Lord’s promise of love, hope, and His promise of restoration and redemption to His people.
Have you ever been through a time of suffering, profound loss, sadness, or pain so great that you thought it would consume you? What carried you through those hard times?
Maybe it was a Bible verse that offered hope or a promise of restoration.
Maybe it was a card or a note from a family member that offered encouragement or solace.
Maybe it was a song that expressed your deep pain and offered hope to endure.
Maybe it was a friend who called or stopped by just to spend some time with you.
These four chapters in the “book of consolation” offered the same words of hope to God’s people. In verse 3, we see that God offered this promise of hope and restoration to both the northern kingdom of Israel as well as the southern kingdom of Judah.
While we live in a broken world, we know as followers of Christ that this life is the worst it will ever be for us – a better life in eternity with Christ awaits. Until then, we live in the tension between the broken now and the perfect then.
May we take some time to offer thanks to the Lord for providentially sending that Bible verse, family member, song, or friend to carry us through the hard times.
The Apostle Paul reminds us that God redeems even the hard times in our lives so that we can offer empathy and encouragement to others:
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
(2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV)
As followers of Christ, may we reach out and share that same Good News of God’s love and provision with those around us who are beaten down by life, discouraged, hurting, sad, in physical suffering, or are lonely and in need of a friend.