• Tel Aviv - July 22, 2008: New Jewish immigrants making Aliyah in Ben Gurion Airport. It's the immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel since the Babylonian exile | Photo credit: Shutterstock

The miracle of the return (Jeremiah 31 – part 3)

Rev Henk Poot - 8 October 2019

You so often read in the Bible that God will bring back His people and here in Jeremiah 31 you read this as well, in the verses 8 and 9. When I do not continue to read, but stop and reflect on these verses, I discover seven miracles in this promise.

Firstly, that God doesn’t say this after all the misery of the exile, but before it! That means that God continues to stand by His people, even when He punishes them, because that was the Babylonian Exile, a punishment. History doesn’t come to an end in judgment, the end is God’s love, that conquers everything. Psalm 30:5a says: “For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime…”

“When I stop and reflect on these verses, I discover seven miracles in this promise.”

Miracle two
The second miracle is that God sees through the darkness. He knows what lies behind it. There is more suffering to come and much horror. Soon we will read about powers stronger than Israel and that keep the people imprisoned. Hereafter we will see the bitter tears of Rachel, weeping because her children are not there anymore. And the people who return will do that with weeping and begging for liberation still on their lips. What a mighty comfort this is, also for us, that God sees the life of His children, across the suffering.

Miracle three
As the third miracle you see that it is about a complete redemption. God doesn’t only speak about the people Jeremiah knows, but about Israel. That means about the ten tribes who were exiled earlier, one hundred and forty years before. God didn’t forget them and is calling their names. The liberation also entails the unification of the entire people of God. That too is a miracle. For God Israel is all of Israel and not a small part of it.

Miracle four
The fourth miracle is that it is about a salvation in full. People who cannot see the road or are unable to walk it, the blind and the paralysed. Women, physically unable, because they are pregnant or recently gave birth, also return. The Lord brings everyone home, from the land of the North and from all the ends of the earth.

Miracle five
The fifth miracle is the fact that they return. God remains faithful to what He decided and that is for Israel to live on her heritage forever. Israel’s Diaspora is temporary. You might imagine a Europe without antisemitism or a world bearable for Jews, but then still Jerusalem and the mountains of Judea and Samaria remain the final goal.

“What if the Church would just see that these miracles are happening right before our eyes…”

Miracles six and seven
The sixth miracle is that God gives as a reason for this that He is Israel’s Father!  That was never crossed out and it cannot be: God is and will be the same.

The seventh and final miracle is that we see these promises fulfilled in our days. It is happening right before our eyes. And what would it be if the Church would just see that. We are used to call God Father, but we got out of the habit to call God, in our services, the Father of Israel. But that is what it says here. Efraim is in fact God’s first-born son, I read. What would heaven, what would the angels cheer if we would recognize that and would assist with the return, Church wide, because that is discipleship in the end time.


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