Week 1, Day 6

Day 6: Jeremiah 33:14-16

“Look, the days are coming”—
this is the Lord’s declaration—
“when I will fulfill the good promise
that I have spoken
concerning the house of Israel
and the house of Judah.
In those days and at that time
I will cause a Righteous Branch
to sprout up for David,
and he will administer justice
and righteousness in the land.
In those days Judah will be saved,
and Jerusalem will dwell securely,
and this is what she will be named:
The Lord Is Our Righteousness.

1. Jeremiah is currently imprisoned in the courtyard of the king’s guard in Jerusalem, which is under siege by Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon. The siege is going poorly, and Zedekiah, the current (and last) king of Judah is fed up with Jeremiah’s prophecies that they will lose this war and go into exile. So he has him locked up. What Jeremiah says here he hears from God while he is locked up.

2. Jesus is the fulfillment of the good promises. He is the righteous branch, he will administer justice. It is by him that Judah will be saved. It is through him that Jerusalem will dwell securely. The very name of the kingdom will be changed to reflect the presence of the King. Jeremiah has been given a glimpse into the future in the midst of the worst moments the people of God have ever experienced. In the greatest darkness, God proclaims ultimate hope.

3. Jeremiah has a better excuse for despair than just about anyone who has ever lived. But he listens to God, hears from God, speaks the words he gets from God, and so communicates hope to a dying people in a dying city. May our hearts and minds be so attuned to the providence of God, open enough to hear his voice in all circumstances, and able to accept that all things work together for the good of those who love God (Rm 8:28). May we communicate our hope to dying people in a dying world.

4. The righteous branch will become the very Tree of Life. The administration of justice and the presence of righteousness will be complete in the presence of the King, who has come, is coming, and will yet come again. As the ancient people of Israel in exile held on to hope for the coming Messiah, we hold onto hope for the returning Messiah. We have a privileged place in knowing the name of the savior, but our hope is the same: that the King will be in our presence, bringing his Kingdom with him.