He Promises to Restore Joy

William Dixon lived in Brackenthwaite, England. He was a widower who had also lost his only son. One day he saw that the house of one of his neighbors was on fire. Although the aged owner was rescued, her orphaned grandson was trapped in the blaze. Dixon climbed an iron pip … More


God promises all the tribes of Israel that He will restore them (vv. 1-2). Despite Judah’s rejection and apostasy, God loved them (v. 3). “Loving kindness” refers to God condescending in goodness to the needs of His people. He says that I will restore your joy (v. 4). Once again you will be able to plant your gardens and enjoy the fruit of your labors (v. 5). He is eager to do the best for them if they will only let Him.

One of the Hebrew descriptions of a prophet is “watchman .” The prophet says, the day is coming when the “watchman” will call from the hill country of Mt Ephraim, “Arise, and let us go up to Jerusalem to worship the Lord our God” (v. 6). Sing and shout with praise and joy, “O Lord save your people who are the remnant of Israel” (v. 7) for I will bring them from the distant corners of the earth (v. 8)!  Joy and providential care will accompany the pilgrims on their way home (v. 9). With weeping they shall come and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back. A missionary mandate is proclaimed to listen to the message from the Lord and declare it in other countries (v. 10). He said, “I have redeemed Jacob” (v. 11). Israel will come home and sing songs of joy on the hills of Jerusalem (v. 12). Their life will be like a watered garden and all their sorrows will be gone. Both the old and the young will join in the celebration (v. 13). He says that “My people will be satisfied with my goodness” (v. 14).



God has a plan for my life just as he has a plan for Israel because he loves me.

Jeremiah 31:1-14 (English Standard Version)

"At that time, declares the LORD, I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people." Thus says the LORD: "The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the LORD appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers. Again you shall plant vineyards on the mountains of Samaria; the planters shall plant and shall enjoy the fruit. For there shall be a day when watchmen will call in the hill country of Ephraim: 'Arise, and let us go up to Zion, to the LORD our God.'" For thus says the LORD: "Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob, and raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, 'O LORD, save your people, the remnant of Israel.' Behold, I will bring them from the north country and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth, among them the blind and the lame, the pregnant woman and she who is in labor, together; a great company, they shall return here. With weeping they shall come, and with pleas for mercy I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble, for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. "Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, 'He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock.' For the LORD has ransomed Jacob and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the LORD, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall be like a watered garden, and they shall languish no more. Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy; I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow. I will feast the soul of the priests with abundance, and my people shall be satisfied with my goodness, declares the LORD."

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