Judgment Must Come Before Blessing Can Come

In his spiritual autobiography, William Barclay, the venerable Scottish scholar, tells the tragedy of losing his 21-year- old daughter and her fiance who were drowned in a boating accident. He writes, “God did not stop that accident at sea, but he did still the s … More


Israel’s condition was critical (vv. 12-15). Her wound appeared incurable, and no one was available to provide a remedy for her sore (v. 12). The allies in whom the nation had placed such great hope had forgotten her (vv. 13-14). Even God had struck her as an enemy and punished her because of her guilt (v. 15). Israel’s condition appeared hopeless, but God promised to reverse her misfortunes (vv. 16-17). Those who were devouring the nation would themselves be devoured by God. He would send her enemies  into exile and plunder those who sought to make spoil of her. I believe this passage refers to the restoration after the Babylonian captivity, as well as under Christ.

God’s restoration will involve a physical rebuilding (vv. 18-22). The city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt on her ruins, including the king’s palace (v. 18). This prophesy that Jerusalem would be rebuilt was not completely fulfilled by the work of Ezra, Nehemiah and Zerubbabel. The festive sound of rejoicing that had been silenced by Babylon will once again be heard in the city v. 19), and God will increase Judah numerically (Deut. 30:5). The nation will be secured and established before God, and He will punish anyone who tries to oppress her (vv. 20-22)

Before God’s blessing can be experienced He must judge sin (vv. 23-24). His wrath will burst out against the wicked (v. 23). Though these words were applied to false prophets (Jer. 23:19-20), Jeremiah may have been using them here to refer to God’s judgment on the wicked nations who opposed Israel (vv. 16-20). God’s fierce anger that had been poured out on Judah would not turn back till it also extended to the other nations of the earth (v. 24).


The final restoration will occur when all believer are gathered in Christ’s kingdom. It will include building (v. 18), people (v. 19) and rulers (v. 21). I look forward to being there.

Jeremiah 30:12-24 (English Standard Version)

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