Read Jeremiah 33
Focus on verse 14
These words, “I promise” don’t seem to mean very much any more. Seems to me there was a time when a promise meant that one sincerely intended to fulfill whatever it was that was promised. Unfortunately those words appear to have been redefined to mean, “I sincerely want you to believe that I will fulfill what I am promising, but if something happens to change the circumstances to where I deem it would be more beneficial for me to break my promise – I most likely will break it.” Even when we sign a contract on paper, we see people attempting to break that contract if a better offer comes along. It happens in the business world, it happens within the church, it happens within our relationships. People who make a promise before God and many witnesses to remain faithful in marriage to each other – break the contract at the first sign of difficulty or the moment they see what appears to them to be a better offer.
In today’s reading the Lord says to Jeremiah, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.” (v. 14) The one place where we do not have to be concerned with a promise being fulfilled is when God makes a promise. It may take a while for it to come to pass, but if God promised it, we can be certain that He will at some point, somehow, some way, fulfill the promises He makes.
In this case it is a promise that the day will come when Israel will be restored and will dwell securely in the presence and blessing of the Lord. He does not elaborate on exactly when this will take place, and again in this case I suspect this prophetic statement may have more than one application. On the one hand it seems to be referring to the return of the exiles from Babylon seventy years later to rebuild the wall and city of Jerusalem. However, it also seems to carry overtones of a time yet in the future, when God will reign from the temple mount in Jerusalem, from where He will rule over the entire earth with justice, righteousness and equity.