Jeremiah likens Israel, and therefore we Christians too, to a woman who leaves her husband and lives with many lovers as a prostitute. God’s question “would you now return to me?” is answered in verses 12-13. This great call to return is given to a city that did not listen. Lord, may our loved ones and country listen!
There’s a lot in this passage.
We see layering over what we have read throughout the prophets so far; God using adultery to describe the faithlessness of His people in rejecting Him and going after other gods (idolatry).
We see that remarkable word from the Lord, that “Faithless Israel has sown herself more righteous than treacherous Judah.” Judah showed a pretense of return (v10), but it was fake – which God takes great umbrage with.
But let’s take a look at this really wonderful passage in v15-18. A future promise, a strong hope!
God will give His people shepherds after His own heart (remember David, who all the people reading Jeremiah at the time would have remembered, a man after God’s own heart, and then we are reminded of the Son of David, David’s GREATER SON – Jesus, the great Shepherd of His people).
Which then steps into v16, speaking of the ark. What was the ark? It was where God’s word was kept, the testimony, that which was GOD’S COVENANT with His people (the ark of God’s covenant). It was a special and peculiar element for Israel and their worship of their God. Also, the ark had the mercy seat on top of it, and God would meet them from above it (Exodus 25).
But look! “It shall not come to mind or be remembered or missed; it shall not be made again.”
The ark was where God met with His people (within the Tabernacle).
And we see that God’s plan was always that those earthly things were pointers and signs and frail copies of the HEAVENLY REALITIES.
And when we think about the ark, Jesus is the crux of what is going on. What we read here in Jeremiah.
Jesus is God’s word become flesh!
Jesus keeps our side of God’s covenant!
God’s mercy to us is shown in Jesus on the cross!
And we meet God in and through Jesus!
And as always, we can go deeper. Jeremiah looks forward to our future hope. When thinking about God meeting with us, the ark, Jesus – We read in Revelation 21,
“Behold the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.”
Amen to this!
* Gracious Father, thank You that from Jeremiah we can read again of our wonderful hope now in Jesus, and of our future hope in Him.
Mark us as a faithful people who are singular in our devotion to You.