Jeremiah 33:1-22; 1 Timothy 4:1-6; Psalms 88:13-18; Proverbs 20:24-25
OT: ““The Lord who made the earth, the Lord who forms it to establish it, the Lord is his name, says this: Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and incomprehensible things you do not know… I will restore the fortunes of Judah and of Israel and will rebuild them as in former times. I will purify them from all the iniquity they have committed against me, and I will forgive all the iniquities they have committed against me, rebelling against me. This city will bear on my behalf a name of joy, praise, and glory before all the nations of the earth, who will hear of all the prosperity I will give them. They will tremble with awe because of all the good and all the peace I will bring about for them… “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… The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: “This is what the Lord says: If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night so that day and night cease to come at their regular time, then also my covenant with my servant David may be broken. If that could happen, then he would not have a son reigning on his throne and the Levitical priests would not be my ministers.” (Jeremiah 33:2-3, 7-9, 14-16, 19-21 CSB)
The book of Jeremiah is often associated with “doom and gloom” and “turn or burn” prophecies where Jeremiah constantly warned the people of Judah and Jerusalem of all the horrible things that would happen if they didn’t repent. Yet, in God’s goodness and mercy – even in the midst of the bad news – He spoke promising words of hope to build up His people’s faith. Here in the 33rd chapter, as God was doubling down on the horrible things that were going to come, He also doubled down on the glorious future that awaited His people once they learned their lesson and returned to the Lord.
God had made a promise to King David – that David would never lack having an heir on the throne of Israel. Even though the people of Israel, Judah and Jerusalem were completely unfaithful to God, the ever-faithful God would not relent on His promise to David. Though, because of the people’s unfaithfulness, Jerusalem would be completely decimated; it would not remain decimated forever. The things that would happen in the coming days to Jerusalem, the City of David would be incomprehensible. But then the redemption that would be provided, the restoration that would occur, and the righteousness that would be established would be even more incomprehensible.
God’s promises will be fulfilled. No matter how unfaithful God’s people may become… no matter how many people the devil may lure away, God’s promises will be fulfilled and His will will be accomplished on the earth. Our unfaithfulness to God can no more stop God’s promises than a person can stop the rotation of the earth and prevent the sun from rising each morning. God is infinitely patient. He has no deadlines to meet. Everything that He has willed will come to pass in His time. If one generation fails to be faithful, then God will raise up another. The question isn’t around God’s faithfulness to His promise. The question is around our faithfulness to God. God’s promises will be fulfilled… will we be a part of their fulfilling? Will we listen to God’s words of promise and allow them to fuel our faith and galvanize our faithfulness? Or will we ignore God’s words, go our own way, and miss out on His promises?
NT: “Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared. They forbid marriage and demand abstinence from foods that God created to be received with gratitude by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, since it is sanctified by the word of God and by prayer. If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, nourished by the words of the faith and the good teaching that you have followed.” (1 Timothy 4:1-6 CSB)
In the latter days, as we grow closer and closer to the end of the age, people will depart from the faith. Not only did the Holy Spirit reveal that to Paul – but Jesus taught that to His disciples (Matthew 24:4-5, 10-13, 23-25). Unfortunately, that had already begun in the church at Ephesus, as false teachers had come into the church to lead people away from the freedom found in the truth of Christ. What could Timothy do put an end to the deception and prevent people from falling away?
First, Timothy needed to be able to recognize false teaching when it was given – so Paul reiterated some foundational truths of the gospel, so that Timothy would be able to recognize and confront the counterfeits. Secondly, Timothy needed to make sure that the community of believers in Ephesus was clear on the truth of the gospel and the great benefits of remaining in the faith. As Timothy was faithful to teach the things that he had been taught, his words of faith would not only nourish the believing community of Ephesus and help them ward off false and deceitful teaching, they would also nourish and build Timothy up as well.
Prayer: Lord, I thank You for the truth of Your word and the faithfulness of Your words. Your word is truth and You are always faithful to Your words. I know that as I believe Your words and place my faith in Your word, I will never be led astray and I will get to experience the fulfillment of all Your promises. Grace me to be faithful as I keep my trust in You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.