The goodness of God brings comfort and joy to God’s people. As Jeremiah continues celebrating restoration, he focuses on recovery of lost stock. Through Jeremiah, God promises to end the people’s suffering, to comfort them, and to restore their joy by granting them a blessed future. God promises to rebuild and purify the people and that they will never be destroyed again.
New life will be experienced as the people who were scattered, along with the wheat, wine, and oil that were depleted, and the sheep and the cattle, will all flourish again like watered gardens. This promise of restoration happens even before people have put in any of their own effort beyond obedience.
Despite the transgressions of the people, this passage shows that God took Israel as a model nation to exemplify God’s love and forgiveness toward all humanity. Therefore, God will do the same for us. The grace of God is abundant for all people. God continues to plan to liberate those who obey the Lord. With constant and everlasting loving-kindness, God will restore God’s broken people. Even when we are experiencing extreme hardships and oppression, God will water our lives like gardens, give us rest, and comfort us. Furthermore, God will forgive us and restore our happiness. Our former sorrow will be no more. The Lord will transform our sin-sick souls and make them alive again.
As God looked on God’s people Israel, God had mercy on them because they were being oppressed by “hands too strong for [them].” When we are in bondage to forces too strong for us, God in mercy is ready to restore our joy and to gratify our souls with abundance.
Gracious Lord, ever-loving and forgiving God, I yearn for your goodness and mercy. Turn my mourning into joy. Amen.
The readings for this week are full of praise for God’s gift of Jesus Christ and an emphasis on human helplessness apart from God. Jeremiah portrays an exiled people’s despair turning to joy at their restoration. The psalmist proclaims God’s power to protect and provide for God’s people, and Paul’s letter to the Ephesians explains that God’s will from the beginning has been for our adoption as God’s children through Christ. Praise and thanksgiving to God are the common and appropriate responses to all these mighty acts of God.
Read Jeremiah 31:7-14. How have you been restored by God’s kindness?
Read Psalm 147:12-20. In what ways have you experienced God strengthening and restoring you?
Read Ephesians 1:3-14. How do you set your hope on Christ? How do you live differently because of that hope?
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