“Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.” (Jeremiah 23:3)
“For behold, I begin to work disaster at the city that is called by my name, and shall you (the other nations) go unpunished? You shall not go unpunished, for I am summoning a sword against all the inhabitants of the earth, declares the LORD of hosts.” (Jeremiah 25:29)
Jeremiah prophesied bad news for the nation of Israel – they would be punished for their transgressions at the hands of the Babylonians (the theme up to chapter 23).
Jeremiah prophesied good news for the captives – a remnant will be spared, they would return to their land, and turn their hearts back to God.
Jeremiah prophesied bad news for the surrounding nations – they would suffer God’s wrath – many nations, peoples and lands will be an “everlasting waste.” (i.e. eliminated forever).
God’s chosen people were called to be a light and blessing to the nations. When they were faithful, the surrounding nations potentially benefited. When they failed, the nations around them inevitably suffered. As the people of God went – so went the inhabitants of the earth.
- God fulfills his promises perfectly, while that is glorious, it is also sometimes frightening. While a remnant of God’s people returned from exile (ultimately, a remnant will be saved forever) many nations and peoples have disappeared from the face of the earth – forever.
- Where the nation of Israel failed in their calling to be a light to all nations, God has raised up another family of people. A people from all nations, tongues and tribes, a people for himself, a holy nation, a kingdom of priests. The Church.
- We have been called to be salt and light in the world. Like the nation of Israel – as the Church goes – so goes the world. This is the glorious and frightening reality of our mission.
Lord Jesus bless us all, the Church, that we may be a blessing to others. Give me peace, compassion, and love that I might be a vessel of your peace, your compassion and your great love. I pray that I would have eyes to see people the way you see them – with your deep love and care. Lord Jesus help me understand more deeply the role of the Church, and my role in the Body of Christ – to be salt and light – may others be blessed through my faithfulness and by the faithfulness of your Church. Amen.