God’s Saving Word: Joy
Jeremiah 33:1–13: Today’s reading references a time when the prophet Jeremiah was imprisoned in King Zedekiah’s palace in Jerusalem. The LORD warns him that the destruction of Jerusalem by a Babylonian attack is imminent, but the LORD promises to rebuild Judah and Israel and restore prosperity.
Another Promise of Hope
33 While I was still in prison in the courtyard, the Lord’s message came to me again. 2 The Lord, who made the earth, who formed it and set it in place, spoke to me. He whose name is the Lord said, 3 “Call to me, and I will answer you; I will tell you wonderful and marvelous things that you know nothing about. 4 I, the Lord, the God of Israel, say that the houses of Jerusalem and the royal palace of Judah will be torn down as a result of the siege and the attack. 5 Some will fight against the Babylonians, who will fill the houses[a] with the corpses of those whom I am going to strike down in my anger and fury. I have turned away from this city because of the evil things that its people have done. 6 But I will heal this city and its people and restore them to health. I will show them abundant peace and security. 7 I will make Judah and Israel prosperous, and I will rebuild them as they were before. 8 I will purify them from the sins that they have committed against me, and I will forgive their sins and their rebellion. 9 Jerusalem will be a source of joy, honor, and pride to me; and every nation in the world will fear and tremble when they hear about the good things that I do for the people of Jerusalem and about the prosperity that I bring to the city.”
10 The Lord said, “People are saying that this place is like a desert, that it has no people or animals living in it. And they are right; the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem are empty; no people or animals live there. But in these places you will hear again 11 the shouts of gladness and joy and the happy sounds of wedding feasts. You will hear people sing as they bring thank offerings to my Temple; they will say,
‘Give thanks to the Lord Almighty,
because he is good
and his love is eternal.’
I will make this land as prosperous as it was before. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
12 The Lord Almighty said, “In this land that is like a desert and where no people or animals live, there will once again be pastures where shepherds can take their sheep. 13 In the towns in the hill country, in the foothills, and in southern Judah, in the territory of Benjamin, in the villages around Jerusalem, and in the towns of Judah, shepherds will once again count their sheep. I, the Lord, have spoken.”
Today’s Key Verse: Jeremiah 33:7
[The LORD said:] “I will make Judah and Israel prosperous, and I will rebuild them as they were before.”
When Jeremiah receives God’s message (c. 588 B.C.), the destruction of Jerusalem is not far off. What aroused God’s anger against the city (verse 5)? What does God promise afterwards (verses 6–13)? What does today’s reading teach you about God?
Almighty God, I give thanks to you because you are good and your love is eternal. You are a God of healing and restoration, and I praise your holy name. Amen.
Jeremiah 33:14–26: The LORD will choose a righteous king.