Jeremiah 3:14 “Return, O faithless sons,’ declares the LORD, ‘for I am a master to you, and I will take you one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.'”
As always in the prophetic books of scripture, we must be very careful to draw the line of demarcation between Israel and the Gentile nations. Too much confusion happens when people blur that line and start applying promises for Israel to the Church, OR they take prophetic scripture from the Prophets and try applying them to our age when they are distinctly for Israel in the future. You cannot do that.
There are times when material in the prophetic books can be applied to the Church and to general behavior. This is especially true of scripture that is dealing with morality and justice and walking with God. Be very clear, however, when examining prophetic passages.
In chapter 3 of Jeremiah, we have fantastic promises for Israel in restoration. Verse 14 begins a section that Jeremiah wrote about the future, but like all prophetic writers, they tried to figure out just when it all will happen. We have greater light with the New Testament, but that means greater responsibility on us to delve into scripture to see the glorious promises and try to understand them.
The verse addresses “faithless sons,” and that is exactly what Judah was like in Jeremiah’s time. Those faithless ones are being spoken to, but the Lord is looking way beyond them to a time when He restores the nation once and for all. Jeremiah had no idea he was writing of a time roughly 2500-2600 years in the future.
God calls a remnant of His people and will lead them into blessing. God always deals with remnants. Noah was a remnant, as was Elijah and the faithful 7,000 ones, as was each small church in the apostolic times. Even today, the true believers form a remnant. In my nation, barely 1 to 2% of Australia is born-again. China, the USA, and Pacific islands are higher but still small remnants.
In verse 14, the Lord will take one from a city, two from a family, and bring them back to Israel. I do not think that is literal and exact but represents smaller numbers, not the majority. It is possible that one-third is the remnant from another passage, but the calling and restoration will happen.
Jeremiah 3:15 “Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.”
When God calls, He always provides, whether it be in ministry or in prophetic fulfillment. Here He will provide teachers for them for their spiritual betterment. Knowledge and understanding are mentioned, so they must be very essential items in God’s reckoning. We need to take note of those two and nurture them. What does the Church need? Knowledge and understanding. May the Lord grant that to us.
All that takes place in the Millennium for Israel. God gathers the Jewish saints of the Tribulation and brings them home. For possibly the first time ever, Israel will have shepherds after the heart of God, a similar reference to David. They will have shepherds like David. The prophets, over and over, decried the woeful nature of the shepherds who fed themselves and left the sheep to fall into ruin. I am ashamed to say these false shepherds are today in churches throughout Christendom.
Jeremiah 3:16 “and it shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land,’ declares the LORD, ‘they shall say no more, ‘The ark of the covenant of the LORD,’ and it shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they miss it, nor shall it be made again.'”
The ark of the covenant will be a thing of the past, not even remembered anymore. It will be irrelevant. Why is that, for the ark in the Tabernacle was holy, God’s presence among His people, and that is the key to it all. When Jesus comes at the Second Coming, He will literally be among His people, so there is no more a need for symbol or type. Jesus the Messiah is the Ark.
Today, the true Church finds refuge in Him, and in the Millennium, Israel also finds refuge in the Ark. The ark of the covenant becomes the Ark of the new covenant for both the Church and Israel.
That is why we must not use images or icons, or statues. The great symbolism/types in the Tabernacle are a reality in our hearts and will be in the future in Israel.
Jeremiah 3:17 “At that time they shall call Jerusalem ‘The Throne of the LORD,’ and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the LORD. Nor shall they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart.”
“At that time” is always indicative in the prophets, of the time after the Rapture, usually as it relates to Israel in its restoration and blessing. The previous verses dealt with the nation being restored, and now we are given some glimpses of that restoration. The focus firstly is on the city of the great God, Jerusalem. The city shall be known as “The Throne of the LORD.” LORD is the Old Testament Jehovah, but Jesus is Jehovah. Messiah shall reign in Jerusalem as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Jerusalem is His city.
It is interesting the names the prophets give Jerusalem. Here are some more of them.
¥ Ir Ha’Emet (Zechariah 8:3) – City of Truth
¥ Kiryah Ne’emanah (Isaiah 1:25) – Faithful City
¥ Kiriyah Aliza (Isaiah 22:2) – Joyful City
¥ Gai Hizayon (Isaiah 22:1) – Valley of Vision
¥ Ariel (Isaiah 29:1) – Lion of God (This is also the name of a modern Israeli city.)
¥ Kiryat Hannah David (Isaiah 29:1) – City of David’s Camp
¥ Drushah (Isaiah 62:12) – Desired one
¥ Gilah (Isaiah 65:18) – Joy
¥ Tzur Hamishor (Jeremiah 21:13) – The Rock of the Plain
¥ Neveh Zedek (Jeremiah 31:22) – Dwelling of Righteousness
¥ Oholivah (Ezekiel 23:4) – My Tent is in Her
¥ Ir Ha’Elohim (Psalm 87:2) – City of God
¥ Klilat Yoffi (Lamentations 2:15) – Encompassing Beauty
Most of those names will be realized in the Millennium to their fullest extent.
The verse continues to say that because of the Name of the LORD, all the nations will be gathered to Jerusalem. Such will be the honor and respect of where the King will be. Zechariah continues the same idea – 14:9 “The LORD will be king over all the earth. In that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one.” The LORD (Jesus, the King of the Jews) will rule from Jerusalem over the whole earth. We know that the Feast of Tabernacles will be kept in the City in the Millennium, and nations will send representatives to that yearly. Zechariah 14:16 “Then it will come about that any who are left, of all the nations that went against Jerusalem, [they] will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.”
Verse 17 ends this way – “Nor shall they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart.” The Gog war is right before the Second Coming, and this is what happens right after Gog’s defeat – Ezekiel 39:7 “My holy name I shall make known in the midst of My people Israel; and I shall not let My holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.” AND Ezekiel 39:22 “and the house of Israel will know that I am the LORD their God from that day onward.”
Israel is restored, and all of them are faithful. How wonderful that will be. However, that verse (17) is speaking of God’s nation, not the Gentiles, for we know at the end of the 1,000 years that all the malcontents from the nations are gathered up by Satan for one last attempt to overthrow God.
Jeremiah 3:18 “In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance.”
There is a lot of rubbish spoken about the lost tribes of Israel. They are not lost. God knows every one of them. The 10 tribes of the Northern Kingdom (Israel/Samaria), when defeated by the Assyrians, were scattered among the nations, or absorbed into Judah, or remained living in the land (the Samaritans of New Testament times. The Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans, but in the nation’s restoration, all tribal distinctions will never divide again.
“The land of the north” is an uncertain phrase. In Jeremiah’s thinking, that could have been Assyria, but I think it means “lands of the dispersion,” which in a wider sense would be the whole world. The Lord will bring His Jewish people home from over the face of the earth. Then there will be absolute unity, harmony and fellowship. Of course, they will have fellowship with one another because their fellowship will be with the Messiah. It will be a perfect fellowship.
Ours is not a perfect fellowship. John wrote in his first letter that we have fellowship with one another, and that is because, rightly, our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. Our fellowship is with the Son, yet do we have fellowship with one another? No, we don’t, because of personal differences, doctrinal differences, personality differences, and in some cases “just can’t stand the person.” Thank God that in a coming day, the whole Church will know heavenly unity, harmony and fellowship, even though that is not possible on earth.
Jeremiah 3:19 “Then I said, ‘How I would set you among My sons, and give you a pleasant land, the most beautiful inheritance of the nations.’ And I said, ‘You shall call Me, My Father, and not turn away from following Me.'”
Israel today is an unpleasant land if you are seeking beauty. It is dry and barren and rugged, not the lush forest that some of us might live in. However, God promises a land so pleasant that it will be more beautiful than any of the nations.
I think the thrust of the verse is that at the time of writing, God wished to do that for the nation but it was impossible, and that is why we have the words, “How I would set you among My sons.” It is the great desire of God, but the nation had to take its claimed course because it was so sinful, and that was one leading to destruction. Babylon was on the doorstep.
In that regard, there is not much difference today between those conditions and our nations today. Immoral United States (speaking generally) chose to pursue the path of destruction with the Democrats and Biden. Australia is going to the polls, and by the time this article is posted on RR, it will be right at the time of the election (May 21st). All the predictions are that such a wicked Government will be elected (the Australian Labor Party) as bad as, and probably worse, than the Democrats. People know the issues, but they will choose their own destruction just as Judah did in Josiah’s time. It is going to be a rough ride in both nations, so we need to hold on tightly to the Lord, our immovable Rock.
The verse ends with, “You shall call Me, My Father, and not turn away from following Me.” What a lovely promise and assurance for Israel this is. They will have that close relationship that calls God “My Father,” and they will never turn away again from their God. I don’t want to mix up the Divine Names, but within the Trinity, there is an interchange of Names. Yes, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
This verse from Isaiah reads, 9:6 “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulders; and His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” In that verse, the Son (Messiah) is called “Mighty God” and “Eternal Father,” and I am not going to say any more about that except to state that restored Israel will recognize their Messiah as their “Eternal Father” (in the aspect of love, care and nurture I think).
Jeremiah 3:20 “Surely, as a woman treacherously departs from her lover, so you have dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel,’ declares the LORD.”
Verse 20 ends the portion I want to do today, and in that verse, Jeremiah immediately jumps from the glorious future blessings back into his immediate present. It is very common for prophetic writings to do that, and we need God’s help and skill to see these jumps and divisions and divide them correctly.
Israel departed from Jehovah as a woman departs from her husband. (I know that the same can apply to a man departing, but here it is woman because Israel is considered to be the wife of Jehovah. She was an unfaithful “spouse” who departed time after time with the pagan worship of surrounding nations.
Jeremiah focuses then on the reality of the present. Christians must likewise be focused on their present. I think some are so caught up with end times and prophecy (and anything else) that they can lose sight of living in the world right now.
May the Lord give us understanding in the treasures of His word.