Yahweh says: “Yet again there will be heard in this place, about which you say, ‘It is waste, without man and without animal, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without animal,’ the voice of joy and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voice of those who say, ‘Give thanks to Yahweh of Armies, for Yahweh is good, for his loving kindness endures forever;’ who bring thanksgiving into Yahweh’s house. For I will cause the captivity of the land to be reversed as at the first,” says Yahweh.
Yahweh of Armies says: “Yet again there will be in this place, which is waste, without man and without animal, and in all its cities, a habitation of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the lowland, in the cities of the South, in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, the flocks will again pass under the hands of him who counts them,” says Yahweh.
In the United States, we have Independence Day celebrations every year that include firework displays. These shows usually end with an unusual amount of fireworks going off all at the same time. We often call it “The Grand Finale.” When I read this chapter of Jeremiah, it seems like God’s Grand Finale about His intention to restore Israel to the land. He says it over, and over, and over again. If you compare each reminder to a rocket, it’s like they are exploding one after another in rapid succession.
Notice that both these statements say: “Yet again…” God is repeating over and over to Jeremiah while He’s in jail that things are going to be better. There will come a time when the Israelis are happy again and without concern. It’s obvious, as real rockets are launched into Israel today, that this day has not yet come. God also mentions the fact that they will be talking about bringing “thanksgiving into Yahweh’s house.” That can’t be Israel today because God’s house isn’t even there.
Those who say that God is finished with Israel today will have to deal with the Bible, though. Once again, it comes down to whether you are going to believe God or man. If you are going to believe man, why believe the Bible at all? There are plenty of other things that God says much fewer times in the Bible that you would have to reconsider if you are going to be consistent. The underlying issue is that if the Bible isn’t true about Israel, then it could be wrong about your everlasting life as a Christian. Thankfully, God repeats Himself in the Bible about Israel and our salvation. If we believe that we are saved, then the only consistent thing to do is to believe Israel will go on forever too. When we fight against the Bible in any area, we hurt ourselves and our witness to others.
If you are one of those Christians who believes that this is talking about the Church, then you are also calling your own salvation into question. If God is able to talk to Jeremiah, while he’s in jail about the Church, knowing that Jeremiah will believe that He’s talking about the Jews, couldn’t God do the same to you? Could it be that someone else will be saved and have eternal life other than you because God is only symbolically talking to you today? So you see, this is an important subject to us now and one that each Christian should settle in their minds.