God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Friday, August 16, 2013

August 16 - Jeremiah 32-34: David's New Shoot would Return Jerusalem to Normalcy

Today’s Reading: Jeremiah 32-34

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

God would one day return Judah's life back to normal.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

"I am God. You have provoked Me long enough. If you cooperate with Nebuchadnezzar you will survive.
"One day My Chosen People and I will live as one with an everlasting covenant. How wonderful it will be to do good for them once again! Everything will be restored. Celebrations will resume.
"A new shoot will come from David's tree. Judah and Jerusalem's motto will be "God has set things right for us." There will always be a descendent of David on the throne and a priest offering sacrifices. Only if I lose control of the world will My Promises fail."

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

God continues to use Jeremiah even while he is in prison.

It is a somewhat strange occurrence that Jeremiah is in prison but God still uses him to send messages to the king and the rest of Judah. It is as if God is telling Zedekiah that no matter how much he fights God, God's message is the same. Even when God's Messengers are punished for His Message, God still uses them to provide the same Message.

God would no longer punish children along with their parents.

This is a difficult line to walk. There is a strand of Calvinism which states that infants inherit the mistakes (sins) of their parents. This is not what Jeremiah means. Yesterday's reading included the following:
When that time comes you won’t hear the old proverb anymore,
   Parents ate the green apples,
   their children got the stomachache.
No, each person will pay for his own sin. You eat green apples, you’re the one who gets sick. (31:29-30, The Message)
Also, Jerusalem is under siege by an enemy because Judah's adults would not stop worshiping other gods. Children suffered because of their parents' mistakes. But God's New Covenant would be different. Each person would be responsible for their mistakes, not the mistakes of others. Children still suffer from the mistakes of parents, but not in the same way they did at this time. This is why I appreciate the Message's paraphrase of this verse, "You're loyal in your steadfast love to thousands upon thousands - but you also make children live with the fallout from their parents' sins" (32:18). Children may still live with the consequences of their parents' mistakes, but they no longer are punished alongside their parents.

God is purifying Jerusalem for its future inhabitants.

As I have mentioned several times in the Old Testament, God's purpose of punishing Jerusalem and Judah is to wipe out all of the Baal worship sites. This will remove the temptation for returning Israelites to worship other gods. Since He could not get the original inhabitants to remove them He had to use an outside group to forcibly destroy them. Once they are removed, Israel and Judah would re-inhabit the land and live in peace once again.

The Shoot of David's tree would set things right for Judah and Jerusalem.

He would run the country with honor, honesty, and fairness. His name would be God's Righteousness. He would restore the land and Israel would have their relationship with God set right. God would provide a leader to set all things right with His Chosen People. (You can also understand how Israel's understanding of the Messiah was very skewed toward the physical. This will be important when we read about Jesus.)

Is your motto "God has set things right for us"?

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