Summary: Jeremiah's prophecy of God's promise to Israel and His church and the conclusion of history.
A Vision of Our Future
Text: Jeremiah 30:1-3, 18-22
Jeremiah was called by God as a prophet when he was quiet young, possibly around twenty. He was “the son of Hilkiah” who was an unknown country priest that bore little or no significance (Jeremiah 1:1). The “Hilkiah” who was Jeremiah’s father was not the Hilkiah who found the scroll in the days of Josiah the King. Jeremiah lived in “Anathoth” some three miles northeast of Jerusalem (Jeremiah 1:1). That was about an hour’s walk from where he would preach and minister.
The name “Jeremiah” means “God hurls or throws.” For the most part Jeremiah lived and ministered with the feeling and burden that God had “hurled” him down into this sea of spiritual confusion and sin.
Like Jesus, Jeremiah faced persecution and rejection from his own townspeople and relatives because of the message he preached (Jeremiah 11: 11-21: 12:6).
Jeremiah prophesied during the reign of five kings, three of whom are listed in Jeremiah 1:3. He began his public ministry in the thirteenth year of King Josiah of Judah and prophesied for more than forty years (Jeremiah 1:2-3).
Judgment was the central theme of Jeremiah’s preaching. In the forty years preceding Judah’s exile to Babylon, Jeremiah was a lone voice of coming judgment.
The nation was guilty of idolatry and had lost all fear of God and His holy law (Jeremiah 16:11-13).
While dominated by the coming judgment and captivity of God’s people in Babylon, Jeremiah’s preaching was not without hope.
He prophesied that the days of captivity would eventually come to an end (Jeremiah 25:11; 29:10). He also prophesied that Babylon, the instrument of judgment, would ultimately be destroyed.
Jeremiah saw beyond the judgment of God to the time when He would enter into a new relationship with Israel. God would restore Israel to the homeland and His people.
Announcing the Promise for the Future (Jeremiah 30:1-3)
The content of Jeremiah’s prophecy does not follow a chronological order. It seems the book is arranged by content subject. That being stated, we cannot be sure when Jeremiah 30 was written in regard to the other portions. It does however most likely to have been written just prior to the Babylonian captivity.
“The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.”
Prior to the Babylonian captivity, Judah’s religious and political leaders were all corrupt. The prophets no longer proclaimed the words of God. The political leaders of the day no longer defended the cause of justice.
Jeremiah was not at all certain that if he walked Jerusalem’s streets, he’d find even one righteous, God-fearing person. All these spiritual factors in Jeremiah’s life make the words “The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD” so important. It is that singular factor that meant Jeremiah would be more than just another man and another prophet. Still today, hearing from the Lord through His written word is essential to hope.
There is more in the words “The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD saying” than any of us can imagine. Sometimes the “word of the Lord” came to Jeremiah personally for his own life (Jeremiah 16:1-2). But in most cases when the “word of the Lord” came it was a message God intended the prophet to deliver to His people.
When the “word” of God came to a man in the Old Testament, it meant more than a man was just sitting around thinking about God. The word “came” means there was an active impulse inside of Jeremiah that was sent by God.
The “word” that “comes” to us “from the LORD” is what makes all the difference in life. As believers, we are so blessed to have the written word of God (Psalm 119:140; Matthew 4:4). There is nothing about Jeremiah or any of us that will make a difference in the world in which we live if we fail to hear and heed God’s Word.
In Jeremiah 30:1, Jeremiah receives an authoritative “word” or utterance from the LORD.” “LORD” is “Jehovah,” the “self-existing one.” The name “Jehovah” speaks of God’s self-existence, eternality, and unchangeableness. That may partially explain why “LORD” or “Jehovah” was Jeremiah’s favorite name for God. In spite of all that Israel had done to deserve judgment and abandonment by God, the “LORD” (Jehovah) continued to love her and claim her as His own.
God instructed Jeremiah to “Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.” The “book” is a scroll. The purpose of writing what God had said to Jeremiah was so the nation would have a permanent record of the promises God was giving to His people. Although King Jehoiakim tried to destroy God’s words to Jeremiah, the word survived (Jeremiah 36)!