ImmerseProphets - Page 214


Like many of the prophets, Jeremiah also proclaims messages about
other nations. These oracles are collected in the last section (pp. 284308), where a message predicting Babylon’s eventual downfall has the
last word among Jeremiah’s messages. (At some point, the introduction
to these oracles to the nations became separated from the actual messages and was placed earlier in the book. In this edition we’ve reunited
the introduction with the oracles themselves.)
After “the end of Jeremiah’s messages,” the book concludes with an
epilogue that describes in terrible detail the fall of Jerusalem and the
destruction of the Temple. This epilogue closely matches the description at the end of the book of Samuel–Kings.
Even though the book closes with an account of the tragic demise
of the kingdom of Judah, a bright hope for God’s people still lives at
its center. A special oracle called the “book of comfort” (pp. 260-265)
is placed in the middle of the second section, which puts it right in the
center of Jeremiah’s book as a whole. Here the Lord promises that because his love for his people is everlasting, he will bring them back from
exile: “I will bring them from the north and from the distant corners of
the earth. . . . A great company will return! Tears of joy will stream down
their faces, and I will lead them home with great care.”
God told Jeremiah that his words would both “tear down” and “build
up and plant.” And so it is fitting that in the center of the book, God
promises that he “will make a new covenant with the people of Israel
and Judah.” God is going to put his instructions deep within them,
transforming them from the inside out. The rebellion of Adam has been
living in the hearts of God’s people. But a new day is promised, a day
of forgiveness and renewal, when all God’s hopes and dreams for Israel
will be realized. This is the great future that moves the Bible’s great
story forward.

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