August 18

Ezekiel 31:1-18; Jeremiah 32:1-33:26

The Old Testament Jews probably dreaded it when Jeremiah received another prophecy from God. Usually it was about God’s displeasure and the devastation that was coming because of their disobedience. But I have to think they welcomed what they heard in Jeremiah 33.

God is promising the Jews peace and prosperity. He is telling them they’ll get their city back, bigger and better than before. I can almost see the wives pouring over the latest Lowes catalog and picking out new granite countertops for the kitchens they were going to remodel when the money started rolling in.

But what is it that God is promising? History tells us the city of Jerusalem did regain prosperity. It was a seat of government and commerce. But when God promised a righteous Branch from David’s line he was not talking about a flesh and blood king. When he said Judah would be saved and Jerusalem would live in safety he was not promising the absence of war.

And when he promised a descendant of David’s would sit on the throne forever, he was not talking about a human king. 

Let’s not try to put these prophecies into a material box. The truth here is so much bigger. When history has played out according to prophecy, it was done for one reason… to demonstrate the spiritual truth, to show the world God is who he says he is.

God’s goal in telling the Jews what was ahead was not so they could plan how to spend their money. God’s goal in telling the Jews the future was so that when the future panned out the way God said, all people would recognize God as the One True God and be drawn to him. 

We know the Jews were still looking forward to having that human king take over the world when Jesus came on the scene. Some of them are still looking for that. But God’s kingdom is so much bigger. 

I believe every word in the Bible is true. And if we try to interpret these verses materially only, we miss out on the real message here. Let’s not spend so much time looking at the signs. Let’s look at the goal, accepting God for who he is and his Son as our Savior.

Jesus is on the throne. Forever. With him is peace. With him we have everything we need, more than we can ask for. We have God himself living in us!

Amen.

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