Jeremiah 31 yields a divine promise of restoration, one that surely would have been welcomed amidst a prophecy that was largely focused on doom, and destruction. Jeremiah almost certainly did not get to live through the days that he wrote about in Jeremiah 31. In other words, the national liberation promoted in this chapter came one generation after him. Throughout the biblical account, you get the sense that Jeremiah was heavily grieved, and saddened, by the knowledge that Jerusalem, and surrounding territories, would be run over, and ransacked, by Babylon. Understandably, it troubled him deeply. So when the words of Jeremiah 31 were given to the prophet it likely brought measures of assurance, pleasure, and peace. Even still, it required faith for Jeremiah to believe that God would allow Babylon to conquer Judah, send many citizens away, but eventually bring survivors back to the Promised Land. A fascinating application of this text is that the promise of tomorrow challenges the realities of the present. But when you accept that God is more powerful than the current struggles, and what He says will come to pass will certainly come to pass, it can bolster your ability to rejoice, even in the ruins (or pending ruins). In short, we need belief in God. We need trust in God. We need faith in God.
Jeremiah 31:13 “‘Then young women will dance and be glad, young men and old as well. I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow.’” (NIV)
Kevin Orr (8/12/2019)