The word that came to Jeremiah from Yahweh, saying, “Yahweh, the God of Israel, says, ‘Write all the words that I have spoken to you in a book. For, behold, the days come,’ says Yahweh, ‘that I will reverse the captivity of my people Israel and Judah,’ says Yahweh. ‘I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they will possess it.’ ”
I know that something is seriously wrong in our world when so many people who claim to be believers think that God is no longer involved with Israel as a nation. God repeats the fact that He intends to “reverse the captivity” of His people so many times, it actually get’s kind of monotonous. Once again, God says in this passage: “I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they will possess it.” How much more clearly does it need to be stated?
I’m going to guess that most Christians, were like me. They simply never read Jeremiah. Or, like me, they may have read it very quickly and didn’t really study it. When we look back over the history of Israel, we see that they actually returned to the land more than once, and we also read in the words of the prophets that they will be returning again in the future. It’s OK for us to argue that the current return of Israel may not be the final one, but it isn’t OK to argue that God is done with Israel. You’d have to really ignore or subjectively symbolize many passages in the Bible and once you do that, you could make the Bible say pretty much anything. You’d also create a problem. You’d have to consider the possibility that salvation from Hell is only symbolic and perhaps even for someone else other than you. Could Jesus’ words to Christians have been only symbolic?
In this passage, God told Jeremiah to write these words because Israel and Judah would return and posses their land. It’s pretty obvious that Jeremiah and all those who would go into captivity would not expect these words to be merely symbolic. I do believe that how God treats Israel is symbolic of how He treats Christians today, but that doesn’t help those who believe that God has rejected the nation of Israel. If God were to throw away Israel after promising them their land like this, wouldn’t that mean that God will also do the same to Christians symbolically?