Anyone who has ever pored over the book of Jeremiah knows that it is not exactly what you would call an “uplifting experience.” Jeremiah is renowned as a prophet of doom and gloom. He berates the people for a litany of sins and bad behavior. He preaches constantly about eh divine judgment and destruction that awaits them because of their attitudes.
Frankly, Jeremiah had good reason. His prophetic laments stretched over the tumultuous transition that saw the end of the hated Assyrian empire and its dominating presence in Judah. Unfortunately, a new, even stronger Babylonian regime moved in to destroy the struggling remnants of the Southern Kingdom. Ill-advised resistance to this new Babylonian master brought about two devastating actions– the destruction of Solomon’s temple and the execution of the last Davidic hers of the throne. The eradication of Israel two surest signs of God’s special election wiped out any dormant dreams Judah’s exiled elites and masses may have harbored.
But at this precise moment, when all the Jeremiah’s dour predictions had appeared to come true, the prophet suddenly offers a distinctly different message. Jeremiah now proclaims a word of hope to these mournful captives.
Jeremiah now focuses on the will and ways of God rather than on the willfulness and waywardness of God’s people. God’s intentions can never be thwarted-regardless of how much the people disobey Him or the disasters that have befallen them. God continues to hold Israel, her life and fate, firmly in the grasp of divine grace.
Jeremiah knew God’s heart and God’s intentions for Israel as well as any human could. He had lived through some of the most devastating and disappointing moments in Israel’s history. He had faced the hardheartedness, foolishness, and false loyalties of the people.
Using Jeremiah as His voice the Lord proclaims “I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. I will satisfy the priests with abundance, and My people will be filled with my bounty” (Jeremiah 31:13, 14).
My friend, whatever you have been going through, God promises a new beginning and will do what He has promise din these verses.