Day 144: Yahweh Our Righteousness Once Again

Jeremiah 33:14-16

“Behold, the days come,” says Yahweh, “that I will perform that good word which I have spoken concerning the house of Israel and concerning the house of Judah.
“In those days and at that time,
I will cause a Branch of righteousness to grow up to David.
He will execute justice and righteousness in the land.
In those days Judah will be saved,
and Jerusalem will dwell safely.
This is the name by which she will be called:
Yahweh our righteousness.”

If this passage seems familiar, it’s because God already said something very similar back in Jeremiah 23:5-6. Although they are similar, they are actually different. It would appear that God is reminding Jeremiah, and us that He still intends for there to be a day when a Son of David will reign on earth in Jerusalem. At that time, He will “execute justice and righteousness in the land.” To Jeremiah, all hell was breaking loose as the current leadership in Israel was acting unrighteously and a foreign king was being allowed to destroy God’s city. I believe that it was very encouraging for Jeremiah to hear this. Isn’t it good to see how much God cares about our mental state when we are enduring persecution? Notice that He has no trouble repeating things if necessary.

I’d like to discuss one of the big differences between what is said here and what is said in Jeremiah 23. In the Jeremiah 23 passage, it says that there will be a King and He will be called “Yahweh our righteousness.” In this passage, it says that Jerusalem will be called “Yahweh our righteousness.” That’s one of those things that could seem like a contradiction, but it doesn’t have to be seen that way at all. When we assume that there were no mistakes here, all it means is that both Jesus and Jerusalem will be called the same thing. That is an amazing blessing don’t you think? It’s actually just a repeat of what God already said long before. Let’s look at that again.

Deuteronomy 12:11

…then it shall happen that to the place which Yahweh your God shall choose, to cause his name to dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the wave offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which you vow to Yahweh.

So here we read that God told Moses that there would be a place that God would cause His name to dwell. So it makes sense the Jerusalem would be called by the Messiah’s name. This isn’t a hard thing for most of us to understand today either. What happens to a woman’s name when she marries a man? Traditionally, she is then called by his name. This is pretty neat because Jeremiah is reminded, by God, that when this future king takes over, Jerusalem will be called by God’s name and that must mean that, somehow, Jerusalem is made righteous again.

That brings up the biggest point of all about this name. How can we be righteous when we have already spoiled our lives by sinning? This passage reminds us to look at Jerusalem. Jesus is our righteousness, just as Jesus is theirs. They didn’t deserve it and they were better than most of us to start out with. The Messiah’s name reminds us that we are righteous because His righteousness is given to us. If it weren’t for Israel’s Messiah, there would be no hope for anyone because He is our righteousness.

Day 142: The New World Order

Jeremiah 33:1-9

Moreover Yahweh’s word came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still locked up in the court of the guard, saying, “Yahweh who does it, Yahweh who forms it to establish it—Yahweh is his name, says: ‘Call to me, and I will answer you, and will show you great and difficult things, which you don’t know.’ For Yahweh, the God of Israel, says concerning the houses of this city and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are broken down to make a defense against the mounds and against the sword: ‘While men come to fight with the Chaldeans, and to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have killed in my anger and in my wrath, and for all whose wickedness I have hidden my face from this city, behold, I will bring it health and healing, and I will cure them; and I will reveal to them abundance of peace and truth. I will restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel, and will build them as at the first. I will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned against me. I will pardon all their iniquities by which they have sinned against me and by which they have transgressed against me. This city will be to me for a name of joy, for praise, and for glory, before all the nations of the earth, which will hear all the good that I do to them, and will fear and tremble for all the good and for all the peace that I provide to it.’ ”

Isn’t it interesting that while Jeremiah was locked up that God decided to give him visions of the future glory of Israel? I would imagine that Jeremiah’s face was changed in a way that the guards could see. Perhaps Jeremiah’s time in jail was one of the best times of his life. Isn’t it amazing how God can change things?

So here we have God’s plan to restore Israel stated again. God tells us that He “will cure them” and “will reveal to them abundance of peace and truth” and “will cleanse them from all their iniquity by which they have sinned” against Him. He tells Jeremiah that Jerusalem will be “for a name of joy, for praise, and for glory, before all the nations of the earth,” for God. God says that “all the nations of the earth” will hear about what is going on in Jerusalem and will highly respect God for it. It’s pretty obvious that this hasn’t happened yet. Right now it would appear that all the nations of the world are ready to control Israel for themselves. The time that Jeremiah saw has yet to happen but when it does, the nations will not try to do anything except get down on their faces before God.

At that time, there really will be world peace and it will come out of Jerusalem. We don’t have to worry about wars. We don’t have to worry about socialism. We don’t have to worry about global warming. Jesus is the one we should be worrying about because He will be the one to bring in the new world order.

Day 137: A Good Investment

Jeremiah 32:6-15

Jeremiah said, “Yahweh’s word came to me, saying, ‘Behold, Hanamel the son of Shallum your uncle will come to you, saying, “Buy my field that is in Anathoth; for the right of redemption is yours to buy it.” ’ ”

“So Hanamel my uncle’s son came to me in the court of the guard according to Yahweh’s word, and said to me, ‘Please buy my field that is in Anathoth, which is in the land of Benjamin; for the right of inheritance is yours, and the redemption is yours. Buy it for yourself.’

“Then I knew that this was Yahweh’s word. I bought the field that was in Anathoth of Hanamel my uncle’s son, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver. I signed the deed, sealed it, called witnesses, and weighed the money in the balances to him. So I took the deed of the purchase, both that which was sealed, containing the terms and conditions, and that which was open; and I delivered the deed of the purchase to Baruch the son of Neriah, the son of Mahseiah, in the presence of Hanamel my uncle’s son, and in the presence of the witnesses who signed the deed of the purchase, before all the Jews who sat in the court of the guard.

“I commanded Baruch before them, saying, Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel, says: ‘Take these deeds, this deed of the purchase which is sealed, and this deed which is open, and put them in an earthen vessel, that they may last many days.’ For Yahweh of Armies, the God of Israel says: ‘Houses and fields and vineyards will yet again be bought in this land.’

Here we read that God uses Jeremiah as a physical example once again. This time, he was told by God that his cousin would be coming in an attempt to sell him Israeli land that was to be kept in his family. I think it’s good to consider how bad this transaction was. We already read that Jerusalem was under siege. This means that there were troops that had most likely already ravaged the surrounding countryside of Jerusalem. Land in Jerusalem was about to be worthless and the surrounding lands of Judah probably already were. To make matters worse, Jeremiah was in custody. Now, we have already read in the law that it was a legal obligation to help your family by buying their land when they were in need. This kind of buying was more like what we would call leasing today in that you could use the land but then return it to its owners during the Year of Jubilee. So what we have here is Jeremiah’s cousin coming to him while Jeremiah is in jail, obligating him to give him money for worthless land. At this point, the witnesses probably thought Jeremiah had gone totally mad, but Jeremiah was told by God to buy this land, so he did.

The wonder of this whole exercise is that God was not only encouraging the heart of His prophet, but He was using him to tell those who would hear that Israel had a future. Jeremiah made it clear before his witnesses that “Houses and fields and vineyards will yet again be bought in this land.” Jeremiah’s purchase was a good investment because he had the most critical element of a good investment. He had knowledge of the future. He was buying a very real inheritance for his family and as we already read in the history of Israel, they did end up returning to the land, little-by-little, 70 years later.

When we trust in God, we may look crazy on the outside. The truth can be missed because of our own ideas about how things work. Even when we consider investments, we should seek out the truth by believing everything God tells us first. Others may not understand our actions, but we will be encouraged in our hearts as we rest on the truth of God’s word.