Tuesday, February 5, 2013

resting on the character of God

Behold, I will gather them from all the countries to which I drove them in my anger and my wrath and in great indignation. I will bring them back to this place, and I will make them dwell in safety. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God.
Jeremiah 32:37-38

There are five statements about Israel in these two verses. God takes absolute responsibility for Israel's welfare with these statements. Four of them are promises made to a distraught, endangered, and desperate people.

I WILL GATHER THEM. This is the first promise God makes and it rests on His power and person alone. They were scattered all over the Near East by the time the Babylonians got done, but God would bring them all back together in His time, according to His plan, with His power, for His glory and purposes. The exile was not permanent.

I DROVE THEM. God took responsibility for their current situation. God's hand brought the Chaldean army besieging Jerusalem. He would drive the Jews from the covenant land as He willed for their sinful neglect of Him and His Word.

I WILL BRING THEM BACK. Again, God makes it clear that their return would be His doing. Just as He judged and scattered, He would re-assemble and return them. This was a promise given even before the punishment had befallen them.

I WILL MAKE THEM DWELL. Not only would God restore the nation to the Promised Land, but He would restore great peace and prosperity to them. They would return to full lives, obeying and loving Him again.

I WILL BE THEIR GOD. The covenant always stood first on God's character and commitment to Israel. That had not changed. He would once again honor the covenant made so long ago with the faithful nomad Abraham. Israel's God is Yahweh.

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