Today’s read of Jeremiah 30-31, I believe, is another of those parts of scripture which has a dual fulfillment. Jeremiah is given these words in a dream and told to write them down in a book, so they are preserved for the generations of Israel’s children. This message of the coming restoration is meant to encourage those who will be captured as well as those who are already in exile. God promises that He will restore everything they have lost, and it will be even better than anything they have ever experienced because it will be a complete and final restoration. Never again will they be bothered by foreign nations who wish to oppress and destroy them.
As we will read in future days, after 70 years, God will bring back a remnant of His people to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the temple, during the days of Cyrus, the Persian king. So, some of what we read in these chapters will be fulfilled then. There will again be singing and dancing in the streets. Crops will again be planted, and there will be a time of peace in the land. But as we know, it won’t last. History tells us that the Jewish people will be persecuted again and again, from the Roman government during Jesus’ day, to the days of Hitler, and up until the antichrist breaks his peace covenant with them and turns against them. Future prophecies yet to be fulfilled reveal that there will indeed be a “time of Jacob’s distress” (30:7); we believe this to be the 7-year tribulation, and Israel “will be saved out of it.” Israel will escape to the wilderness to escape the sword of the antichrist (31:2). Only then will God “completely destroy all the nations” where He has scattered them (30:11).
At this final restoration, Israel will once who again have a king, a ruler who “comes forth from their midst” (30:21) who will be able to come near and approach God. We’re told who this ruler will be in 30:9 when God says He will raise up King David for them! I believe David will again rule in Jerusalem during the Millennium, and he will indeed come near to God, as Jesus will also be ruling over him, in person, in His glorified body! God gives Jeremiah one other clue that this prophecy is one for future days, not just an encouragement to rescue the Babylonian captives one day soon. He says, “in the latter days you will understand this,” meaning it’s not going to make sense for a long time!
What’s the takeaway? First, it excites and encourages the Christ-follower because we are closer than ever to the fulfillment of these prophecies. It certainly seems we are in the “latter days” and so many other prophecies are being fulfilled, with the world events and culture shaping up exactly as the Bible tells us it will in the end times. Practically, today, it encourages us to remember that we don’t always know God’s timeline for keeping His promises. It doesn’t always look like we think it will, and it almost never happens when we expect it. And even if God promises us something, and we never see it in our lifetime, it doesn’t mean He failed to honor His word. His clock is not set to Eastern Standard Time…it’s set to ETERNAL STANDARD TIME! He is transcendent, outside of our time and exists in dimensions we can’t yet imagine. Don’t be discouraged but hold onto those promises and trust that one day you will see them fulfilled, down to the smallest detail!