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Promise of Restoration June 9, 2017

Posted by flashbuzzer in Books, Christianity.
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Here are my thoughts on Jeremiah 33.

Summary: In this passage, God reiterates the main point of the previous passage: He will bring His people out of exile in Babylon; moreover, He will restore them to their homeland.

In particular, He will:

  • allow His people to get married in their homeland
  • allow shepherds to tend their flocks in their homeland
  • re-establish the priesthood – so that He can be worshiped forever.

To lend further weight to these assertions, He appeals to His sovereignty over all celestial bodies.

Thoughts: Here, we see that God continues to assert the boundless nature of His love for His people. Calvin offers some thoughts on this point in his commentary on verses 19-21:

He shows that God’s covenant with the people of Israel will be no less strong than the settled order of nature. The sun, moon, and stars are constant in their progress. This settled state of things is so fixed that in a great variety of circumstances there is no change. We have rain and then fair weather, and we have the various seasons, but the sun continues its daily course.

One thought is that this section of Jeremiah constitutes a lengthy love letter from God to His people; the language that He employs displays His ardor for them. Just as a soldier would be encouraged by a photo of a loved one during an extended tour of duty, God would want His people to be encouraged by this letter during their lengthy exile in Babylon. I hope to meet at least some of the exiles in the next life and learn how they responded to this love letter.

We also see that God will re-establish the priesthood in perpetuity. The meaning of this assertion is not entirely clear, given that the Levitical priesthood has been inactive for quite some time. In contrast, the meaning of His assertion concerning the Davidic dynasty is more clear, given that Jesus Christ is a descendant of David in His human form; moreover, we believe that the reign of Christ over all creation will never end. One thought is that while the Levitical priesthood will never be re-established, God has installed Christ as His perpetual High Priest (note that Christ is a member of the tribe of Judah in His human form). Christ always stands before His Father, having offered Himself once for all time as a sacrifice for sins; now He regularly intercedes for us with His Father. Thus, in that sense, Christ is our King and our High Priest. Now I am merely speculating here; alternate interpretations are welcome.

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