The prophecies of Jeremiah are a mixture of bad news and good news, about what we should expect. Holy as he is, Israel’s God must judge and discipline his people. Gracious and merciful and longsuffering as he is, Israel’s God will bless and redeem Israel. Even as the people are sent into exile in Babylon, Jeremiah pens a letter (ch. 29) to encourage them and to give them hope.
Hope! I was reading, just yesterday, about well-known professional athletes who tell about experiencing depression and frequent bouts of anxiety. I just have to wonder, in what have they placed their hope? And how’s that working out for them? You want hope? How about this! “I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you” (31:3) & “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah . . . For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (31:31,34). The new covenant of Jeremiah points to Jesus, of whom the writer of Hebrews said, “Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better” (Hebrews 8:6; read vss. 8-13). He is the foundation of our hope! He is our hope!
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frame
But wholly lean on Jesus' name
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand. –Edward Mote