By Brooke Holt
“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. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’” – Jeremiah 33:14-16
After addressing the sin and idolatry of the nation of Israel, Jeremiah reminded the people of God’s faithfulness. Where Israel had made it a practice to break almost every promise they had declared to the Lord, the Lord had made it a practice to fulfill every promise he made, despite their unfaithfulness. Now there were consequences for their disobedience and idolatry. They were feeling those consequences in the days of Jeremiah and many great consequences were just ahead in the Assyrian defeat; however, there was also grace for God’s people. They had failed time and again, yet God longed to be merciful to them. As we read all throughout the pages of the Old Testament, the God of Israel was a God of steadfast love and mercy.
Tucked in between the exposing of sin and the warning of judgment for God’s people was this reminder of God’s covenantal promise with David. From King David, the Lord would raise up an everlasting kingdom and an everlasting dynasty: “And your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me. Your throne shall be established forever” (2 Samuel 7:16). In these few verses of Scripture, Jeremiah spoke words of hope and truth. God had not forgotten his promises; God would not forsake his people; and God would make the way for true justice and true righteousness among his chosen people again.
Just as Jeremiah had spoken, judgment did come harshly upon the land of Israel. They were defeated by the Assyrians and taken into exile for 70 years. Thankfully, just as Jeremiah had spoken, the promised Messiah did come in the Davidic line. Jesus Christ came and dwelt among his people to teach them about the kingdom of God and then to make the way for their salvation. The perfect righteousness of God did come and dwell with them. Better yet, the perfect righteousness of God became available to those who would trust in the person and salvific work of Jesus.
Such good news and such bad news mixed into the pages of Scripture. God’s people were created to live in relationship with him, yet they fail and fall and offer themselves to the idols of this world, forsaking the true love of the Father. Still the Lord doesn’t give up on them. He remembers his promises to send the Messiah to save them from their sins, and he fulfills the Davidic covenant through his Son who now reigns in heaven and will come to reign on earth as well.
What Jeremiah does not want us to miss among the good and bad news is the righteousness of the Lord. Through the coming of the Lord, that righteousness would cover the land of Judah and Jerusalem. Better yet, it would cover the people within those lands and now every land. Jesus Christ made the way for your righteousness. It does not matter what you have done, how you have failed, what idols you have worshipped. What matters is that you turn and put your trust in Jesus Christ. When you do, his righteousness becomes your righteousness. No work, no striving, no sacrifices on your part, just the work and sacrifice of Jesus Christ on your behalf.
Spend some time meditating on the gift of Jesus Christ to you—his righteousness becoming your righteousness. We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
Why is trust so difficult? Unlike all the broken promises of this world, God’s redeeming promises are absolute, trustworthy, and true. The covenants of God afford us with abundant reasons to trust God with his plan for our lives. Trusting God: Redeeming Promises of the Word small group Bible study explores the six major redeeming promises of God found in his Word. Learn more about God’s commitment to his people, the nature of a covenant, and how you can find your security in being a child of God’s redeeming promises. Learn more about God’s promises today.
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