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The Glorious Future of Israel
The opening verse of our study says, "Moreover the Word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the second time."
This second vision was the vision of Israel's coming glory. The prophetic student of today needs this second vision. The first vision concerns the present world-drift of men. It is a dark picture, full of forebodings. Where is he who sees the world fast becoming, "As it was in the days of Noe," who sees the world rushing headlong into catastrophic and cataclysmic judgments; who does not grieve?
Thus it was with Jeremiah. His tears continually were falling, and his heart was heavy as he saw Israel's coming captivity, and the devastation of the home land by the feet of Gentile conquerors.
The Word of the Lord came a second time, and gave Jeremiah the wonderful vision of Israel's future glory. It was the time when Israel would be brought back from her captivity, and from her wanderings among the nations.
1. The prophetic student of today needs this glorious vision of the coming age. What if the present age is hastening on in its denials of God, to war, famine and pestilence? There is a brighter day ahead. The Lord will soon be coming to cast the antichrist and the false prophet into the lake of fire. Satan will then be chained, and the Lord will reign in Zion.
We who see the present destruction, should also see the coming construction. We who see the sorrow, and hear the sighs of this age, need, also to see the glory, and hear the songs of the coming age. There is a different perspective as we look around the next shore line.
2. The prophetic student of today needs to call unto the Lord for a correct vision of coming things. Poor Jeremiah! He was, indeed, the weeping and the wailing Prophet. God had burdened him with the vision of His people's collapse. He saw, by Divine instruction, the judgments about to fall, and, faithful to God's command, he gave testimony to the king and to the people of the coming judgments.
At the time of this writing, he was shut up in the court of the prison. It was then, that God said unto him, "Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not."
Jeremiah's vision was circumscribed, and so, too frequently, is ours. The promise of God to Jeremiah is good to us. If we will call upon Him, He will show unto us those "great and mighty things," which, apart from Divine Revelation, we do not and cannot know.
3. The prophetic student of today needs to know the certainty of God's marvelous future provisions for the children of men. After God had given Jeremiah the vision of Israel's glory (this vision will be the study of this message), then He said unto him, "If My Covenant be not with day and night, and if I have not appointed the ordinances of heaven and earth; then will I cast away the seed of Jacob" (Jeremiah 33:25 ).
God also said, "If ye can break My Covenant of the day, and My Covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; then may also My Covenant be broken with. David My servant."
This is the thought we wish to follow. The prophetic Scriptures are sure and steadfast. What God has promised, He will perform. To those of us who believe in God, the prophecies of the Bible are just as dependable as is the history of the Bible. We consider prophecy before it is fulfilled with the same assurance that we consider it after its fulfillment.
I. THE CAPTIVITY OF JERUSALEM AND ISRAEL SHALL RETURN (Jeremiah 33:7 )
1. Israel's present overthrow. In Jeremiah 33:4 we read concerning the houses of the kings of Judah which are thrown down by the sword. In Jeremiah 33:5 , we see how the Chaldeans will come up to fight, and how Israel will meet them. We read of the dead bodies of men, which God slays in His anger. That, however, is not the only picture.
2. Israel's future health and cure. Jeremiah 33:6 says, concerning the city of Jerusalem, "Behold, I will bring it health and cure." Not only that, but God will bring to the people a blessing. "I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth."
3. Israel's return from captivity. Jeremiah 33:7 reads, "I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return." Please observe that this promise is to both of the Houses of Israel. The ten tribes and the two are, alike, to be brought back from captivity.
Here is a promise made through Jeremiah, and by various other Old Testament Prophets, which we are now beginning to see fulfilled. Once more, Israel is turning her face towards the home land. The general restoration from their captivity will not take place until after the Lord's Return. However, God is already beginning to say to the north, "Give up"; and to the south "Keep not back: bring My sons from far." At this moment the Jewish fig tree is beginning to put forth, her leaves.
The flickering rays of the morning sun, as they appear on the eastern horizon, are the harbinger of coming day; even so, the present hour movement of the Jews from Russia, and Germany, and from other parts, are the glimmerings which forecast the complete rehabilitation of Israel.
God has spoken and He cannot lie. So long as His Covenant of day and night holds good, that is; so long as the sun rises and sets, His promises for Israel's restoration are sure.
II. ISRAEL'S PARDON AND CLEANSING (Jeremiah 33:8 )
1. Cleansing and pardon are conditions of restoration. It would be of little use for God to restore Israel to the land, so long as Israel remained unclean, and steeped in iniquity. God, therefore, forecasts that Israel, at the time of her return, shall be cleansed from all her iniquity, and pardoned for all her sins.
Sin brought on her present captivity. When she knew God, she glorified Him not as God, neither was thankful. Israel went so far as to worship other gods. Their hearts went out after an alignment with the Gentiles. They blasphemed the very Name which they had loved and honored of yore.
2. Cleansing and pardon will restore Israel to her old-time favor with God. The Prophet Ezekiel fully demonstrates this. He speaks of how God scattered His people among the nations; of how they were dispersed through the countries, then he said, "For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you." In that day, when Israel is cleansed from her sins, God will give her a new heart and a new spirit, and she will walk in His Statutes, and keep His Judgments. In that day, she will dwell in the land which God gave to the fathers, and they shall be His people, and He will be their God.
3. A nation will be born in a day. The Book of Zechariah says, the Holy Ghost speaking, "And I will pour upon the House of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for his only son." No wonder that Israel will be forgiven, and cleansed, when such a repentance of tears falls upon them!
III. ISRAEL'S GLORIFICATION OF JEHOVAH (Jeremiah 33:9 )
1. Israel shall be unto God, a name of joy. There is a verse in which the Lord said to Israel, that He had called her out of the nations and made her a special people, that she might be unto Him for a name, and for a praise and a glory, but they would not hear. The time is coming, however, when they will hear, Ezekiel puts it this way, the Lord speaking, "I will sanctify My great Name, which was profaned among the heathen, * * and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes."
If you will permit an application, may I say that one reason the world has lost all respect for the average church is because the church, by her words and deeds, has profaned His Name. Have we not read concerning the Church, "Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light."
Even, so was Israel called, but she defamed the Name of her Lord. However, according to our Scripture, she will yet be to Him, a name of joy; a praise, and an honor, before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear of all the good that God has done unto them. Then, the nations of the earth will fear and tremble for all the goodness, and for all the prosperity, that He procures unto them.
How we should rejoice in the contemplation of that day when "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea."
2. Israel shall be unto God, a praise and an honor. We offer here only a word of application. Saints are called "Christians" because they are bearing the Name of Christ. May God help us that, until the time of the Rapture, and of Israel's restoration, we may be faithful to our call, and hold high in honor and in praise, the glorious Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
IV. ISRAEL'S TIME OF JOY AND REJOICING (Jeremiah 33:10-24.33.11 )
1. A solemn pledge of a glorious change. Jeremiah 33:10 begins, "Thus saith the Lord." This is our solemn pledge. Our God speaks with authority and with all assurance. "Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, * * the voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of Hosts: for the Lord is good; for His mercy endureth for ever."
Here, indeed, is a remarkable contrast. The difference between the days of Israel's sorrow, and the coming days of her joy; between the days of her land's desolation, and the days of her gladness, is as great as the difference between night and day.
2. The full significance of Israel's joy and gladness. Israel will once more sing, where she sighed. Her voice will be as that of the bridegroom and of the bride. Whereas she once defamed the Name of the Lord, she yet shall say, "Praise the Lord * * for ever"; whereas she once wept tinder the Lord's judgments, and blamed God for her sorrows, she yet shall say, "For the Lord is good; for His mercy endureth for ever."
The Book of Psalms emphasizes the day of Israel's coming praise. Take these words as an example: "When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them."
Thank God that the people who once went forth in tears, shall return with rejoicing. We can remember the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, the time when the walls were finished, and the people rejoiced. In Nehemiah we read, "That day they offered great sacrifices, and rejoiced: for God had made them rejoice with great joy: the wives also and the children rejoiced: so that the joy of Jerusalem was heard even afar off." All this is but a foretaste of the joy and the rejoicing which await Israel when Christ shall return.
V. THE LAND OF ISRAEL WILL BE BLEST (Jeremiah 33:12-24.33.13 )
1. For centuries there has been a curse upon the land. We remember how the land of Palestine was the choicest of all lands. It was pronounced by the spies "a goodly land." We remember how the spies brought back a display of the wonderful grapes of Eshcol.
To a large extent, during the years of Israel's wanderings among the nations of the earth, the Canaan land, even Palestine, seems to have lost some of its productive powers.
At this time, however, the early and the latter rains are being restored. This is in accordance with a promise of the Spirit in Joel, "Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the Lord your God: for He hath given you the former rain moderately, and He will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first month. And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil."
We insist that this far-flung prophecy, which, in the Book of Joel, is definitely connected with the Second Coming of Christ, is already beginning to manifest itself.
God is about to restore to His people, the years that the locusts have eaten. The time will not be long, when they shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the Name of the Lord their God as they eat.
We know that the darkest hour for Israel lies just ahead. It will, however, not last for long, and then the Lord will come.
2. The present day reveals a portion of the land's former fertility and fruitfulness. Palestine has become a great center, giving to the East an abundance of the finest oranges which are known. Thank God, for the promise that the land which was desolate, shall be filled with shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. The days are coming, when the Lord will perform that good thing which He has promised unto Israel.
VI. THE BRANCH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS WILL GROW UP UNTO DAVID (Jeremiah 33:15 )
1. Who is the "Branch of Righteousness" which shall grow up unto David? In Isaiah 11:1-23.11.16 we read, "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots." This Branch is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ. He is called the Branch of David, because Christ was begotten of the Holy Ghost, and born of a woman, who was of the Seed of David.
From time immemorial, even in the Garden of Eden, God said the "Seed" of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head. The Bible tells us that Christ was in the loins of Abraham, and He was, because Mary was there.
We read in Peter's Pentecostal sermon these words: "Let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, * * being a Prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Christ to sit on His throne."
Surely Jesus Christ is a Branch of Righteousness, because He knew no sin; He did no sin, and in Him there was no sin. He was righteous because the Holy Ghost came upon Mary, and the power of the Highest overshadowed her, therefore, that which was born of her was holy.
This Branch of Righteousness was born and shall grow up unto David, because the lineage of Christ came down from Adam and Eve, through Abraham, and David, unto Mary; and because, also, Joseph, the husband of Mary, and therefore, the legal though not the actual father of Christ, was of the kingly line from David down to himself.
2. When shall the Branch grow up unto David? Our key verse says, " In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of Righteousness to grow up unto David." Those days and that time, are the ones described throughout the whole chapter, even the days when the captivity of Judah and of Israel, shall be returned. They are the time when God will cleanse Israel from their iniquity; when they shall be a joy and praise and honor to God's Name. They are even the days and the time when the voice of joy and of gladness, and of praise to the Lord of Hosts shall have come.
VII. THE DESCRIPTION OF THE REIGN OF THE BRANCH OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (Jeremiah 33:15-24.33.16 )
1. He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land. The Holy Spirit, in Isaiah, says concerning the Branch that shall grow out of David, "The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord: and He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears."
This wonderful Branch shall judge the poor in righteousness. He will judge the meek of the earth with equity. When He comes in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory, He will smite the earth with the Rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He will slay the wicked one.
With the first judgments of His Return accomplished, righteousness will be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins.
2. In His days, Judah shall be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely. Go back with us just a moment to the third verse of this chapter, where the Lord told the imprisoned Jeremiah, "I will * * shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not." What a comfort it must have been to the wailing Prophet to see this far-flung and all-glorious hour of Israel's restoration and safety. In those days there will be no enemy to harass, and no foe to be feared. Israel shall be called after the Name of her Lord, even by the Name "The Lord our Righteousness."
3. The throne of the House of Israel, even David's throne, shall never be vacant again. The Lord Jesus will reign upon that throne forever. There will be no successors. There will be no insurrections and overthrows. The centuries will come and the centuries will go during the period commonly known as the Millennium.
We read that Christ will reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. Then, the Kingdom will be united with the Kingdom of the Father, with headquarters in the Holy City, the New Jerusalem. In order to memorialize Israel, the names of the twelve tribes will be engraven forever upon the gates of the city. Thank God for Israel's glorious future. Thank God, also, that the Gentiles shall enter into her glory.
Israel has long been hated, but nothing can keep her from her coming glory.
"A well-known Christian had been arrested and thrown into prison by order of the Roman emperor. A philosopher was sent for at the command of the emperor to devise the best means of punishment.
Said the emperor 'What shall I do with him, shall I confiscate his goods?'
'It would be no use,' said the philosopher, 'for he says he possesses the unsearchable riches of Christ.'
'Shall I imprison him for life?' said the emperor.
'Imprisonment won't hurt him,' replied the philosopher, 'for he says he has a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother, and who has promised never to leave him or forsake him."
'Shall I condemn him to banishment?'
'Banishment won't affect him,' replied the philosopher, 'for he considers himself a stranger and a pilgrim."
'What shall I do with him?' said the emperor, with astonishment, 'shall I cut off his head?' 'Why,' replied the philosopher, 'that is the very thing he would like, for he says to die is gain, and he desires to depart and be with Christ, which is far better."
In despair, the emperor said to the philosopher, "What then do you advise as the best punishment which can harm him most?" "There is only one thing," he replied, "which can give the Christian the greatest pain get him to sin ."
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Neighbour, Robert E. "Wells of Living Water Commentary on Jeremiah 33". "Living Water". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week of Advent