From Jeremiah 23-25
Jeremiah continues to pound out judgement upon judgement. But as before, there are still small glimmers of hope among his predictions of impending doom and destruction.
This post is part of my bible in a year series.
Passage and Comment
23 “Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the LORD. 2 Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the LORD. (Jer 23:1–2)
Chapter 23 is a long condemnation of the prophets and priests of the time. They have failed in their role to teach Judah about the LORD. Instead they have led them astray. Here is a warning for leaders in Christian ministry today. Pay close attention to your doctrine. That way you will save yourself and your hearers.
3 Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the LORD. (Jer 23:3-4)
Jeremiah now looks forward to when Judah will return from exile. The remnant is the faithful few. The LORD will again care for his people. Instead of false shepherds. He will raise up shepherds true to his name.
5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The LORD is our righteousness.’ (Jer 23:5-6)
Pure prophecy. Of David’s line, the LORD will raise up a king. This is something for Jeremiah and those who listen to his words will hope for. The king will rule wisely, executing justice and setting things right. This king has a special name, ‘the LORD is our righteousness’. Imagine calling someone that? What does it mean do you think? The verb ‘righteousness’ generally refers to righteous acts defined by the covenant law. The context suggests two things. One, the king will rule in righteousness. His righteous rule will extend over his people in such a way that they won’t trust to their own righteousness, but his as their own. Two, the king is possibly given the name ‘the LORD’.
7 “Therefore, behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when they shall no longer say,
‘As the LORD lives who brought up the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt,’
‘As the LORD lives who brought up and led the offspring of the house of Israel out of the north country and out of all the countries where he had driven them.’
Then they shall dwell in their own land.” (Jer 23:7–8)
The return from exile will become the new exodus.
Judah and Israel will return to the promised land as Jeremiah predicts.
But the prophecy referring to the righteous branch is not fulfilled until Jesus is born. Jesus is the righteous branch. He died for our sins and rose again. He is the risen king that executes justice and righteousness. His people look to him and call him, ‘the LORD is our righteousness’.
Copyright © Joshua Washington and thescripturesays, 2014. All Rights Reserved.