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Rev. Ronald C. Purkey, a Baptist minister, claims no originality for this Bible study outline.
However, every Bible study posted on this website has been taught by Rev. Purkey.
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A PROMISE ASSURED
September 7, 2014
SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 30:1-3, 18-22
KEY VERSE: 3 For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it. (Jeremiah 30:3)
BACKGROUND: Jeremiah’s day was a sad time in the history of Israel and Judah. This is the situation:
A. The army of Nebuchadnezzar is outside the walls of the city of Jerusalem, and they mean business.
This time Nebuchadnezzar will destroy the city and burn the temple. Jeremiah has been arrested and shut up in the courtyard. Literally, he is in jail.
B. It has been seven years since he had his conflict with the false prophets.
Events have moved along rather quietly, but every day reveals the accuracy of Jeremiah’s message. The false prophet Hananiah had said that the power of Babylon would be broken within two years. Seven years have gone by, and Nebuchadnezzar is outside the city wall. His power is not going to be broken; instead he is about to break Jerusalem.
C. The vessels of the Lord’s house are not going to be restored to the temple.
Jeconiah (the king of Judah who was dethroned by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon) will not be returned to the city. Things have gone from bad to worse. They are out of the frying pan into the fire. The life of the nation of Judah has gone down. With Jerusalem already under the shadow of Babylon, God’s prophet is held captive by the rebellious spirit of a sinning nation which refuses to hear the Word of the Lord.
D. Can any hour be darker? Can any circumstances be more calculated to fill the heart with despair?
Yet it is at this time that the prophetic note of Jeremiah’s message goes all the way from the basement to the top floor of the Empire State Building. He is no longer singing low bass; now he’s going to sing high tenor, if you please. He is going to reach the heights. He has come all the way through darkness into the light. The night cometh, but also the morning is coming.
INTRODUCTION: Jeremiah chapters 30-39 form the fourth major section of the Book of Jeremiah, and they contain prophecies concerning the future of the twelve tribes of Israel and the captivity of Judah during Jeremiah’s day. The prophecies in this section are not in chronological order.
The message in these chapters comes from Jeremiah to Judah in the darkest days she has ever had. It never got so dark that Jeremiah didn’t have a wonderful message of encouragement, however.
I. ASSURANCE OF RESTORATION. (Jeremiah 30:1-3)
Note: The Lord gives prophetic promises in two ways. (1) NEAR FULFILLMENT: The Lord gives prophecies concerning present problems and events. For Jeremiah and his people in his day it was a time of God’s judgment on Judah and Israel for their sins and their coming captivity and future restoration.
(2) FUTURE FULFILLMENT: The Lord gives prophecies concerning future problems and events. For Jeremiah’s people in the future, it is a time of God’s judgment on the world for their wicked sins and for their treatment of Israel – the coming Tribulation period! It also speaks of Judah and Israel being restored to the Promised Land and the coming Millennial Kingdom.
Many times in Scripture a prophecy may be interpreted both ways with a near fulfillment and a future fulfillment. The Lord gives the message; our job is to listen and understand the divine message.
A. Jeremiah listened.
(Jeremiah 30:1) 1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying,
Jeremiah received the words recorded in Jeremiah 30:1-31:25 while he was asleep (Jeremiah 30:26), because (in the Old Testament) the Lord sometimes spoke to His servants through dreams (Daniel 10:9; Zechariah 4:1). The complete Bible (all 66 books, 39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament) had not yet been written. The Lord no longer speaks to us in this manner, now God speaks to us through the pages of Scripture.
B. God spoke.
(Jeremiah 30:2) 2 Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book.
Jeremiah is writing his prophecy now. After all, he’s in jail; he won’t be in the pulpit on Sunday morning.
Note: The prophecies of Jeremiah were recorded by the scribe Baruch (Jeremiah 36). “Book” refers to any type of writing medium, from a clay tablet to a parchment scroll. Jeremiah’s prophecies were recorded on a scroll (Jeremiah 36:2).
C. The Lord Promised.
(Jeremiah 30:3) 3 For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.
In the days of Zerubbabel after the captivity, the land was NOT possessed. Although a few Jews from the northern tribes returned with the remnant of Judah, there was no regathering of Israel. Revelation chapter 7 speaks of 12,000 from each tribe, which even if this number is figurative language it implies a large group. The promised return is not simply the return from Babylon, but the future millennial kingdom.
II. PROMISE OF RENEWAL. (Jeremiah 30:18-20)
A. God is faithful.
(Jeremiah 30:18) 18 Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob's tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.
“Jacob’s tents” . . . “dwelling places” . . . “city” . . . “palace”: These words emphasize the Lord’s work in rebuilding the homes and cities of His returning exiles, from the peasant population to the administration.
“Heap,” is a word used even today by the Arabs to identify the mounds of ancient cities. In the ancient Near East, when a city was destroyed, a new city would be built upon the rubble of the old. With repeated destruction and rebuildings, many layers of civilization would be built up.
B. Tears will be turned to laughter.
(Jeremiah 30:19-20) 19 And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. 20 Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.
Instead of the voice of crying, fearing, and trembling echoing throughout the land (Jeremiah 4:31; 30:5), the sound of “thanksgiving” (verse 19) and merrymaking would echo throughout the land. The word “thanksgiving” refers to a manner of appreciative praise. “Merry” (verse 19) suggests the joy of laughter and play.
III. HOPE IN A KING. (Jeremiah 30:21-22)
A. Israel will be truly free.
(Jeremiah 30:21) 21 And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto me? saith the Lord.
The King is coming! Israel’s leaders would no longer be appointed by foreign kings, and foreign rulers would not preside over Israel’s lands. Israel’s future King will have unhindered access to God the Father.
Note: In Jeremiah's day, not even the high priest had such free access. We see here a picture of One serving as High Priest and having full access to Jehovah, while welcoming Israel as His own treasured possession the people over whom this King-Priest rules. His name is Jesus Christ.
B. Israel will be restored.
(Jeremiah 30:22) 22 And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.
1. The Millennium.
These verses describe the peaceful conditions that will prevail in the Millennium (the 1,000 reign of Jesus the Messiah.). God says to Israel, “You shall be My people, And I will be your God.” Jerusalem will be rebuilt, and its splendor will rival that of the days of David and Solomon.
2. The reign.
Notice the words, “nobles” … “governor” (verse 21). The King who shall reign over them “shall proceed from the midst of them” (verse 21), can only refer to the kingdom reign of Israel’s Messiah. In other words, the Messiah is a Jew and His name is Jesus Christ.
3. The King.
Notice the words, “My people … your God” (verse 22). This beautiful description is of the glory of restored Israel and could only refer to the yet future reign of Jesus Christ as the Messiah.
4. The future.
Just as the future of Israel in Jeremiah's time was securely in God’s hands, the Hebrew people today can be assured that Jesus Christ is that ruler. Christians, too, are God’s people; our fortune is being assured through Jesus Christ our Savior, and we are living in and acting on that hope that comes through faith in Him as we look to its completion in our future.
5. The Tribulation.
The last two verses of the chapter (Jeremiah 30:23-24) depict the Tribulation period (the Lord’s judgment on the wicked): 23 Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked. 24 The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return, until he hath done it, and until he have performed the intents of his heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.
Note: The Tribulation is a future time period when the Lord will accomplish at least two aspects of His plan: (1) God will complete His discipline of the nation of Israel (Daniel 9:24), and (2) God will judge the unbelieving, godless inhabitants of the earth (Revelation chapters 6-18).
The Bible tells us that the length of the Tribulation period is seven years. This is determined by an understanding of the seventy weeks of Daniel (Daniel 9:24-27). The Great Tribulation is the last half of the Tribulation period, three and one-half years in length. It is distinguished from the Tribulation period because the Beast (or Antichrist) will be revealed, and the wrath of God will greatly intensify during this time.
It is important to emphasize that the Tribulation and the Great Tribulation are not synonymous terms. Within eschatology (the study of future things), the Tribulation refers to the full seven-year period while the “Great Tribulation” refers to the second half of the Tribulation.
By David C. McCasland
A “COMING SOON!” announcement often precedes future events in entertainment and sports, or the launch of the latest technology. The goal is to create anticipation and excitement for what is going to happen, even though it may be months away.
While reading the book of Revelation, I was impressed with the “coming soon” sense of immediacy permeating the entire book. Rather than saying, “Someday, in the far distant future, Jesus Christ is going to return to earth,” the text is filled with phrases like “things which must shortly take place” (Revelation 1:1) and “the time is near” (vs.3). Three times in the final chapter, the Lord says, “I am coming quickly” (Revelation 22:7, 12, 20). Other versions translate this phrase as, “I’m coming soon,” “I’m coming speedily,” and “I’m on My way!”
How can this be -- since 2,000 years have elapsed since these words were written? “Quickly” doesn’t seem appropriate for our experience of time.
Rather than focusing on a date for His return, the Lord is urging us to set our hearts on His promise that will be fulfilled. We are called to live for Him in this present age “looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ” (Titus 2:13).
-- David C. McCasland, Our Daily Bread, March 22, 2014
CONCLUSION: All Israel (the people of Judah and Jerusalem) experienced terrible trials at the hands of the Babylonians. They ended up wearing the Gentile yoke, bearing the wounds caused by their sins, and enduring the storm of Jehovah God’s wrath.
But the Lord will eventually deliver them, breaking the yoke, healing the wounds, and bringing peace after the storm. All of this in Jeremiah’s day was a foreshadowing of what will happen to the people of Israel in the end times as they go through the Tribulation period, meet Jesus Christ their Messiah-Savior, and enter into the Millennial Kingdom.
THOUGH TO REMEMBER: “Live as if Christ is coming back today; because He may!”
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REFERENCES: References used in the Bible study are the King James Bible (KJV), the Scofield Study Bible, the Believer’s Bible Commentary, Charles J. Woodbridge Bible Outlines, Lee Roberson’s Sermons, Don Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Women’s Study Bible, The Bible Reader’s Companion Ed. 3, The Nelson Study Bible: New King James Version, KJV Bible Commentary, Dr. J. Vernon McGee © Thru the Bible Radio Network ( www.ttb.org ), Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the New Testament ed. 4, Cliff Robinson’s Bible Outlines, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines of the Old Testament, With the Word Bible Commentary, Wiersbe’s “Be” Series: Old & New Testaments, selected illustrations, and other references.
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