THRU THE BIBLE EXPOSITION
Jeremiah: Prophet Of Judgment Followed By Blessing
Part LIV: God's Comforting Promise Of Deliverance From Overwhelming, Dire Crises
A. When God's people face hard times, be they trials due to punishment for sin or persecution for the sake of righteousness, the Lord knows they need to be encouraged, so He provides it.
B. After predicting the future Babylonian Captivity, but before its painful fulfillment, the Lord had Jeremiah predict His comforting promises of delivering Judah from overwhelming, dire crises, Jeremiah 30:12-17.
C. We view this passage for insight and edification in our lives (as follows):
II. God's Comforting Promise Of Deliverance From Overwhelming, Dire Crises, Jeremiah 30:12-17.
A. Judah's future overwhelming, dire crises in God's judgment are described figuratively as a terrifyingly lethal, incurable wound inflicted by foes, Jeremiah 30:12-15:
1. The Jeremiah 30:12-15 description of Judah as having an incurable wound presented a terrifying situation: severe wounds became infected and often were lethal in the absence of modern medicine, so it pictured the "desperate circumstances" Judah would face in judgment, J. F. B., Com. on the Whole Bib., 1977, p. 632.
2. Once in captivity, the people would realize they were helplessly stuck there for a generation with no one to help much as if they had been inflicted with a grievous, incurable wound, Jeremiah 30:12; Ibid.
3. Indeed, no other party would uphold their cause so that there was no hope for the people to get out of the situation in which they found themselves for the next 70 years of captivity, Jeremiah 30:13; Ibid.
4. Judah's former "lovers," a figure for Assyria and Egypt with whom they were once allied, would have forgotten them once Judah was in Babylon's control, and these former allies would no longer care for Judah since there was no value in an alliance with her now that she was an impotent captive, Jer. 30:14a.
5. Indeed, God Himself had sent the people of Judah into captivity away from all such Gentile allies as if He Himself had given them a severe wound, and that because their guilt was so great and their sins so flagrant, Jeremiah 30:14b ESV.
6. God then rhetorically asked why the captive people of Judah were crying out "as if God's severity was excessive," for their "affliction was just" in light of all their sins, Jeremiah 30:15a,b; Ibid.
B. When all hope seemed lost in this terrible set of circumstances, God would greatly save Judah, Jer. 30:16-17:
1. At the start of verse 16, the Hebrew text uses the conjunction, lacen, "According to such conditions, that being so, therefore," Kittel, Bib. Heb., p. 761; B. D. B., A Heb. and Eng. Lex. of the O. T., p. 486-487.
2. This conjunction in its context reveals God's awareness of the terrible set of circumstances described in the previous section of Jeremiah 30:12-15, and because God Himself would be moved in compassion by this terrible set circumstances, He would act in great mercy in Judah's behalf (described in Jeremiah 30:16-17)!
3. Accordingly, in view of Judah's realization of being helplessly stuck in Babylonian Captivity for seventy years without help from her former Gentile allies in Assyria and Egypt and even having had God level His discipline against her due to her deserving it for all her sins, God would nevertheless graciously arrange for all Judah's foes who devoured her to be themselves devoured by invasion by other nations, Jer. 30:16a.
4. Those who had plundered Judah would in turn be plundered by other nations who invaded them, and all of those who had preyed on Judah would be preyed upon by other nations in just recompense, Jer. 30:16b.
5. God also promised to restore health to Judah, that is, to reverse her terrible set of circumstances, for Judah had no other helper since all had called her an outcast, Zion for whom no one else cared, Jer. 30:17.
Lesson: The people of Judah were about to face a terrible set of circumstances where there was no humanly foreseeable solution to those circumstances: Judah's people would be taken into captivity for seventy years with no hope of rescue from their former allies Assyria or Egypt who by then would not even care about them, and even God Himself would have leveled His punishment upon the people of Judah in Babylon as they were so deserving of His punishment. However, when all human hope seemed lost for the people of Judah in captivity, God Himself would GRACIOUSLY care for His hopeless people and totally reverse their set of circumstances in great blessing!
Application: (1) If we face a frightening set of circumstances where we are totally helpless and where there is no willing, able, human help available, may we rely on God in grace to help us that we might fulfill His will. (2) We must check to see if such trials are God's discipline to wean us from sin and heed Him, and adjust accordingly.