When disaster surrounds you, and the circumstances are dire, is there any hope? Is God still in control? What if the disaster is a result of your own people’s actions? That certainly was the situation in today’s One Year Bible reading in Jeremiah 33–34.
Jeremiah himself was imprisoned on orders of King Zedekiah as a result of communicating God’s message of judgment on the nation of Judah and the city of Jerusalem. Jeremiah knew the immediate outlook was bleak—Judah had been invaded by the kingdom of Babylon and many Israelites had been carried into exile there. The city of Jerusalem would shortly fall to Babylon, and King Zedekiah himself would be taken there.
All this was taking place as part of God’s judgment on the people of Israel and Judah, who had not obeyed God or followed His commands. But God loved them too much to let them continue in their sinful ways, so he placed them under severe discipline. All the while God continued to communicate with His errant children through Jeremiah, assuring them of His love and the bright future that would follow the time of discipline. In verses 7–9 God promised,
"I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against me. Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it."
The same is true for us. God loves us too much to leave us alone. He’ll take action to bring us back to Him. And all the while, He assures us of His love and the bright future that awaits us if we’re truly His children. We’ll join in the refrain from verse 11: