Looking Forward to The Lord’s Return

In one of Calvin & Hobbes cartoons, they were lying in the shade of a tree on a summer afternoon discussing the important things of life. Calvin says, “What if there is no heaven? What if this is all we get?” Hobbes answers, “Well, if this is all we get I … More

Restoration

Jeremiah summarized the unrighteous kings as being like shepherds who were destroying and scattering God’s sheep (v. 1). The shepherds deserved punishment because of the evil they had done (v.  2). But if God removed them, whom would He appoint to regather His sheep? Jeremiah gave a twofold answer. First, God Himself would gather the remnant of the people who were dispersed and would bring them back (v. 3). He would assume responsibility for Israel’s re-gathering. Second, God would raise up new shepherds over them who would tend and care for the people the way God intended (v. 4).

The branch of David through Jehoiachin had been “cut off.” However, God promised to raise up to David another King who would be a righteous Branch, that is, another member of the Davidic line (v. 5). Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of this prediction. The Southern Kingdom (Judah) and the Northern Kingdom (Israel) will again be reunited as a single nation and will live in safety (v. 6) (Ezek. 37:15-28). Unlike Zedekiah, this coming King will live up to His name as Israel’s righteous God.

Having already mentioned the future restoration of Judah and Israel (v. 6), Jeremiah now said the restoration will be so dramatic that the people will no longer look back to the time when God brought them up out of Egypt (v. 7). The first Exodus will be minor in comparison with this new Exodus when God will bring the descendants of Israel out of all the countries where they have been and will restore them to their own land (v. 8).

Application

The Lord’s return may be very near. I want to be ready and anticipating his coming as I would be looking forward to someone coming to visit who is very dear to me.

Jeremiah 23:1-8 (English Standard Version)


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