18 “This is what the Lord says:
“‘I will restore the fortunes of Jacob’s tents
and have compassion on his dwellings;
the city will be rebuilt on her ruins,
and the palace will stand in its proper place.
19 From them will come songs of thanksgiving
and the sound of rejoicing.
I will add to their numbers,
and they will not be decreased;
I will bring them honor,
and they will not be disdained.
20 Their children will be as in days of old,
and their community will be established before me;
I will punish all who oppress them.
21 Their leader will be one of their own;
their ruler will arise from among them.
I will bring him near and he will come close to me—
for who is he who will devote himself
to be close to me?’
declares the Lord.
22 “‘So you will be my people,
and I will be your God.’”
(Jeremiah 30:18-22 NIV)
Today’s passage is an expansion of verses 8 – 11, painting a picture of what life will be like when the Lord restores and redeems His people to the promised land.
Verse 18 begins by restating that the Lord will restore the lands of Israel and Judah (inferred by the name “Jacob”) and will rebuild the city (Jerusalem). The reference to Jacob’s “tents” implies families or clans. This reference does not mean that God will reduce His people to nomadic living in tents again before they entered the promised land.
Verses 19 – 20 bring sound to the picture of verse 18. We hear rejoicing and thanksgiving, people laughing and being of good cheer. People are out in the community, children playing with one another and families gathered to celebrate birthdays, babies, anniversaries, holidays, and life. Gone are the days of sorrow and weeping, of darkness and death, of funerals and fear.
Verse 21 expands on verse 9, where the Lord says He will raise up a ruler and king for His people. Verse 21 uses the terms “leader” and “ruler” in place of “king” (v. 9). This change in titles was likely because the majority of the kings were such a bad example for so long that the people had no idea what a godly king looked like. This leader will be like a high priest who can approach the Lord and His holiness without fear of being struck down by the Lord because of his sins (see King Uzziah, 2 Chronicles 26:16-21).
This ruler (of course) is referring to none other than Jesus. Psalm 110:4 looks forward to the day when this chosen one will, like Melchizedek, fulfill all three roles of prophet, priest, and king. The writer of Hebrews tells us that through Jesus, we have such a ruler. In fact, Hebrews 4:14-16 says that is Jesus our high priest before God and through His death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus has opened the way for us to approach God directly with humility but without fear.
Verse 22 is the summary of this entire passage – the restored relationship between God and His people. This covenant relationship between God and humanity began at Creation. We saw God focus on Abraham and his descendants (Genesis 17:1-8), and how He reinforced this message through Moses (Leviticus 26:12). Through Jesus, this same relationship is available to all and will be heard again in eternity for those who are His followers (Revelation 21:1-8).
May we grasp with our whole being the faithfulness of God to restore and redeem all humanity to a relationship with Himself for now and throughout eternity.
May we live in the Apostle Paul’s reassuring promise:
38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:28-39 NIV)
“‘So you will be my people,
and I will be your God.’” (v. 22)