Daily Family Worship

Jeremiah 30: A New Kind of Sermon

by | Aug 3, 2023

jeremiah 30

The sermon which we have in this chapter and the following one is of a very different nature from all those which we have had from Jeremiah up to this point. The prophet does indeed, by direction from God, change his tune. Most of what he had said hitherto was in relation to reproofs and threatenings, but these two chapters are entirely taken up with precious promises of the Jews’ return out of captivity – which was a wonderful foreshadowing of the glorious things reserved for the Lord’s people in the days of the Messiah. Sometimes we have seen a bright beam of light, shooting through dense clouds which covered the whole heavens; and it seemed like the silent voice of the sun was saying, “I am still here; and before long, these clouds shall roll away, and my beams shall again illumine the face of the earth!” And thus it is in the history of nations and of people. Their moral atmosphere often seems to be darkened with storm-clouds and mists – when suddenly, a beam of light shines through the midst of them all, promising the return of brighter days, and cheering them with the assurance that an era of blessing is at hand!

It is probable that evil Jehoiakim was still upon the throne of Judah (609-598 BC), when the prophet of sorrow poured forth this song of praise and gladness which is contained in chapters 30 and 31; but it was simply composed in writing, and laid up for future use. At precisely such a time as this, when such a wicked king was ruling over such an equally wicked people, Jeremiah himself would have especially needed such assurances as those which are found in this song. After the introduction (verses 1-3), which speaks of the return of the captivity of the Lord’s people, the song consists of two parts. First, the deliverance of Judah is spoken of in general (verses 4-22); and second, the redemption of both Israel and Judah is described more particularly in verses 23 and 24, and carrying into chapter 31.

A great day of trouble was to come upon Judah; indeed, it had come already (verses 4-7). But Judah would be saved out of it; for the Lord of hosts would take off the yoke that was upon her neck, and burst her bonds (verse 8-11). She was in a sad condition (verses 12-15); for her wound was incurable by human skill, and she had no healing medicines. All her lovers had forgotten her, and her sorrow was deep and overwhelming. But God Himself promised to interfere on her behalf! (verses 16-22) She would no longer be called an outcast – for upon her own hill, the city of Jerusalem would be rebuilt; and the palace would be inhabited after its own fashion. Very rich are these promises, but they were to be followed by others which were yet richer and fuller! How greatly Jeremiah himself must have been cheered by such assurances that the nobles and governors of the people would draw near to God! (verse 21) In his days, that was a privilege reserved only for the priests; whoever else drew near to the Divine Presence in the Temple was to be put to death. But this promise gave the glorious hope that the Messianic times would eventually arrive, when all the people would be kings and priests unto God, and when He would acknowledge them as His own special people! (verse 22) As for the wicked, the sweeping whirlwind of the Lord would fall upon their heads, and His fierce anger would utterly sweep them away (verses 23-24). This was to take place so that all of the Lord’s captive ones would return to Him and become His people; and thus we are led to the second part of the discourse, in chapter 31, where the Lord’s redeemed sons and daughters are the subjects of the most gracious promises!  

But before we move on to the next chapter, let us take a few moments to meditate upon the question that is posed in verse 21: “Who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me?” The question is asked in order to direct our attention to this glorious Person. Who can approach unto Jehovah as the Mediator between Him and sinful human beings? Assuredly, none of us could do it! Who, then, can be the Interposer? Where can He be found? “There is one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus!” He voluntarily covenanted to enter into this relationship – as it is written, “Lo, I come; in the volume of the Book it is written of me, to do thy will, O God!” (Ps. 40:7-8) But why this readiness and this eagerness? Love is the one reply! His heart was occupied with love to God and love to man, and He could not rest until He had restored the broken relationship between these divided ones. With all the forcefulness of His Divine nature, and with all the energy of His perfect humanity, He was resolved to bring men back to God. Having thus determined that He would draw near unto the Father on our behalf, He took all the consequences. There is an old legend which details how, in the Roman Forum, there once gaped a vast chasm which threatened the destruction of the Forum and of Rome itself. The wise men of the city declared that the gulf would never close, unless the most precious thing in Rome was cast into it. But where could a treasure be found that was fit for such a sacrifice? Then Curtius, a noble knight, mounted his horse; and – rightly discerning that valor and love of country were the noblest treasures of Rome – he leaped into the gulf. The yawning earth closed upon the great-hearted Roman, for her hunger was appeased. Yes, it is an idle tale; but the essence of the story is as true as Gospel! Between God and man, there gaped a dreadful abyss – deep as hell, and wide as eternity. Only the best thing that heaven contained could fill it, and that best thing was the Son of God Himself – the perfect Mediator and Redeemer. Praises to His name for reconciling us to the Father!

Lord Jesus, we bless You for becoming our Mediator, laying aside Your glory, and bridging the chasm between us and our offended Father! Amen.

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