A Bright Future

And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. And when you have multiplied and been fruitful in the land, in those days, declares the Lord, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the Lord.” It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again. At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart. In those days the house of Judah shall join the house of Israel, and together they shall come from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers for a heritage.
Jeremiah 3:15-18

Is the book of Jeremiah starting to feel a bit depressing? I've certainly felt bummed the last few days. It's all very good and important stuff, but sometimes you just want to hear the good news.

And here it is. In abundance!

There are three wonderful promises God offers to the Israelites in these verses.

1) Shepherds after my own heart. Israel and Judah had been ruled by a string of godless kings over the last few hundred years, with only a couple exceptions. They were sheep led astray and starving for a good, honest, wise leader. The Lord promises to shepherd them through good leaders, people who are after the heart of God.

2) The presence of the Lord in Jerusalem. Up to this point the presence of God for the Israelites was manifested in the ark of the covenant, a precious and holy chest carried before them in travels and war, which rested in the tabernacle. This verse is not only a prophesy of the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, where the Lord's presence would dwell, it is a foreshadowing of how His presence would be manifest through the incarnation of Jesus Christ. The presence of the Lord would become available to all nations!

3) The house of Judah shall join the house of Israel. Judah and Israel had split long before, even though God's desire was that they dwell in the Promised Land as one people. God promises they will be reunited and return from captivity to the Promised Land together.

God is so good! Even as the Lord is warning the Israelites of their impending captivity and offering them a second chance to repent of their sin, He reassures them things will not always be this bad. He is going to show them grace even as they continue to turn away from Him.

That is a gracious God. The Lord offers the same promises to you and I, no matter how far we have wandered from Him. He promises to shepherd us, to bless us with His presence, and to unite us with other believers as the one body of Christ. We can choose to receive these promises, or we can choose to run back to Babylon. What will it be?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Hello! I'm Faith. I'm a verbal processor who wants to love the Lord and love people with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I write to think and think to write. I don't drink coffee. I am a dogless dog lover. I enjoy hosting large parties in my home, and I enjoy being alone. Join me in looking to Him and pursuing A Radiant Face.

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