God’s Promises to Israel :: By Sean Gooding

Jeremiah 33:12-18

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘In this place which is desolate, without man and without beast, and in all its cities, there shall again be a dwelling place of shepherds causing their flocks to lie down. 13 In the cities of the mountains, in the cities of the lowland, in the cities of the South, in the land of Benjamin, in the places around Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, the flocks shall again pass under the hands of him who counts them,’ says the Lord. 14 ‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord, ‘that I will perform that good thing which I have promised to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah:

15 ‘In those days and at that time I will cause to grow up to David a Branch of righteousness; He shall execute judgment and righteousness in the earth. 16 In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS.’ 17 “For thus says the Lord: ‘David shall never lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel; 18 nor shall the priests, the Levites, lack a man to offer burnt offerings before Me, to kindle grain offerings, and to sacrifice continually.'”

As we continue our look at God’s plans for Israel in the future, I hope that you are taking the time to research this for yourself. My desire for you, or anyone who reads these articles/lessons is that they would be inspired to be students of the Scriptures. I pray that you would dive in and become very, very familiar with the Bible, and when you hear stuff that does not align with the Bible, that your ‘scripture radar’ would go off and the Holy Spirit will begin to call verses that you have read and studied to mind so that you can know the truth and not be fooled; or as the scripture says, ‘tossed about with every wind of doctrine.’

Today, we will look at this promise that God gave to Jeremiah the prophet even as Jerusalem was falling into the hands of the Babylonian Empire, often called the Chaldeans. In Genesis 49:10, we get one of the first promises about the persistence of the Kings of Israel.

“The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.”

We are told that the kings of Israel would reign from the tribe of Judah and that the power, the scepter, would not depart from Judah. This is the promise that the King tribe would be Judah and that the promise is forever. Although we cannot see it today with our physical eyes, this promise is fulfilled in Jesus. He is the oldest living male from the tribe of Judah and, as such, has the right to rule as the King of the Jews. He was executed as such (see John 19:19). Pilate understood who Jesus was, even if the Jews did not.

In our text that is quoted above, we have a promise to the nation of Israel from God through the prophet Jeremiah. At this time, somewhere between 627BC and 582BC, these events occurred, and the Southern Kingdom of Judah and Benjamin was sacked and overrun by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. It was horrible; women began to eat their own children, the dead lay in the streets, and their bodies were left as food for the animals and the birds. The Babylonians carried about 10,000 youths and young men away to serve in Babylon. This is where we get the book of Daniel from and hear of the exploits of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; these young men were among the captives that were taken to live in Babylon.

Jeremiah is heartbroken for his beloved city, Jerusalem, and for his people of Israel. He has been a front-row witness to the wrath of God. He saw firsthand what happens when people defy God and think they can do whatever they want and get away with it; they were wrong. Jeremiah saw bloodshed and pain as never before, and sadly, his ministry was not one of hope but one of judgment and suffering. As such, he is asking God for a bit of hope; is there some light at the end here? God answers him in these verses and makes three promises.

  • The day is coming for God to do good things for Israel, verse 14

He promises that there will once again be flocks in and around Jerusalem and in Judah, the province where Jerusalem is. There will be shepherds and flocks and enough sheep and goats to require counting. This refers to commerce and people living there. One day, God promises that Jerusalem will be populated again, and there will be business, farms and activity. If we only had this verse, we could simply turn to the book of Nehemiah and Ezra and say they’re fulfilled. The captives came back and set up houses and had families, and by the time Jesus came along, commerce and even a new Temple were there. But we would be missing an important part of the promise God made to Jeremiah.

  • There will be a new King, verse 14

This is a promise about Jesus, the Branch of righteousness that will execute judgment and righteousness on the earth. We are told that this will happen when Jerusalem dwells in ‘safety’; this has not happened as yet. There are constant threats from the Palestinians and other groups attacking Israel. There is no peace or safety right now. Soon, a false ‘safety’ will be sold to them by the New World Order, and they will jump at it, but that peace will not last for a long time.

But God goes even further with His promise, and He tells Jeremiah in verse 17, “David shall NEVER lack a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel.” Notice the word ‘NEVER’; this is a promise that once there is a King, the Branch in verse 15, and He is established as the King, this throne will never be vacated again. This has not happened, so this is a promise that is yet to be fulfilled. God, then, must have a plan to restore Israel and appoint the monarch (Jesus). Once appointed, He will reign forever; thus, God is not done with Israel.

  • The perpetual priesthood, verse 18

On top of the promise of the eternal King, there is a promise of an eternal priesthood. Not Jesus being the High Priest/King like we explored in Hebrews but priests from the tribe of Levi, as God promised Aaron in the Torah when the priesthood was established. Once again, there is no need for a priesthood without Jerusalem. There is no need for a priesthood without a Temple and without sacrifices (but that is another lesson).

Suffice it to say, these are promises that God made to Jeremiah about the future of Israel, and these have not been realized as yet. We will see them be fulfilled and see the joy on Jeremiah’s face when he sees God’s faithfulness. We can trust that God will be faithful to us because He is faithful to Israel. He is the God who keeps His promises.

God bless you,

Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church

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God’s Love for Israel :: By Sean Gooding

Ezekial 16:1-14 & Jeremiah 31:36-38

“Again, the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 ‘Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, 3 and say, ‘Thus says the Lord God to Jerusalem: ‘Your birth and your nativity are from the land of Canaan; your father was an Amorite and your mother a Hittite. 4 As for your nativity, on the day you were born your navel cord was not cut, nor were you washed in water to cleanse you; you were not rubbed with salt nor wrapped in swaddling clothes. 5 No eye pitied you, to do any of these things for you, to have compassion on you; but you were thrown out into the open field, when you yourself were loathed on the day you were born.

6 And when I passed by you and saw you struggling in your own blood, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ Yes, I said to you in your blood, ‘Live!’ 7 I made you thrive like a plant in the field; and you grew, matured, and became very beautiful. Your breasts were formed, your hair grew, but you were naked and bare.

8 When I passed by you again and looked upon you, indeed your time was the time of love; so I spread My wing over you and covered your nakedness. Yes, I swore an oath to you and entered into a covenant with you, and you became Mine,’ says the Lord God.

9 Then I washed you in water; yes, I thoroughly washed off your blood, and I anointed you with oil. 10 I clothed you in embroidered cloth and gave you sandals of badger skin; I clothed you with fine linen and covered you with silk. 11 I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. 12 And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head.

13 Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty. 14 Your fame went out among the nations because of your beauty, for it was perfect through My splendor which I had bestowed on you,’ says the Lord God.”

I hope that you enjoyed the journey through the book of Hebrews. I certainly learned a lot.

We will take a bit of detour from going through the entire book for a bit. For the next few weeks, we are going to look at God’s love for Israel and His commitment to her.

Recently, I encountered a very large ‘religious’ organization in China and South Korea that promotes their belief in Jesus, and I had a conversation with one of the followers; they ‘checked’ all the right boxes. Do you believe that Jesus is God, that Jesus died on the cross, went to the grave, and rose again? I got yeses all the way through. Do you believe in the Bible as God’s Holy Word? and on we can go; you get the gist. Then, I set up a subsequent meeting with a leader in the group. When I logged into the meeting, I was shown a video of more than 100,000 people ‘graduating’ from a school with much pomp and dance.

There was a man, one whom they seemed to revere and to whom they gave flowers; he was obviously the leader, and when I pressed about who he was, it was then that I learned the whole truth.

They believe that the book of Revelation is a Parable and that this man has the interpretation. They reject Israel, believing that since they rejected Jesus, God has rejected them. So, for instance, where the 12 tribes and 144,000 are mentioned and called out by name, they do not believe they are literal Jews but that these Chinese persons can be in the 144,000 and that only these will be in the New Jerusalem.

I asked a simple Biblical question. How can God be done with Israel when Jesus is a Jew, born of the tribe of Judah, under Mary’s lineage, and thus is the oldest living male and the rightful King of Israel? It was then that I learned that they did not believe in the literal birth of Jesus; it was figurative. Sadly, these folks are not saved. Jesus was literally born, did die, and did resurrect, or we are lost as well without hope.

This bugged me over the last few weeks, and so as I am currently reading through Jeremiah and seeing all the promises that God made to them, and how He planned to preserve a remnant in Babylon so they could come back to Israel and inhabit Jerusalem. I thought we should take a look at God’s love for Israel. This will be an exhaustive look at the subject as best I can do it. I would love your responses and insights if maybe I missed something. Thanks ahead of time for all the time it will take to read these lessons.

In Ezekiel 16, we have a very detailed story of how God views Israel and, in particular, Jerusalem. By the way, we are introduced to Jerusalem in Genesis 14; it is where Abram pays tithes to Melchizedek. God views Jerusalem as his wife. God discovered her abandoned and forsaken; He had compassion on her, washed her, and wrapped her in swaddling clothes; this is a sign of deep affection and care.

God, in verse 6, commands her to ‘live.’ God sustains her, and no one can destroy her without His expressed permission.

Notice in verse 7 that God sees Jerusalem as very beautiful and that He ‘covers’ her; this is a reference to the marital act of intercourse; this is God claiming Jerusalem, in particular, as His wife.

Now we know that Israel and, in particular, Jerusalem were unfaithful to God, and some really bad things happened to them, including captivities in Assyria and Babylon. But God never abandoned Israel; while He was pronouncing the judgment on Jerusalem through Jeremiah, He made sure to include this promise from Jeremiah 31:36-38,

“Only if this fixed order departed from My presence,’ declares the LORD, ‘would Israel’s descendants ever cease to be a nation before Me.’ 37 This is what the LORD says: ‘Only if the heavens above could be measured and the foundations of the earth below searched out would I reject all of Israel’s descendants because of all they have done,’ declares the LORD. 38 ‘The days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when this city will be rebuilt for Me, from the tower of Hananel to the Corner Gate.”

Now we know the city was rebuilt in the days of Ezra and Nehemiah, but this was an eternal promise as well, one of those double prophesies. Israel today is rebuilt from the ruins left by the AD 70 invasion and the myriad of crusades that were fought over the centuries. She was basically a barren land for the better part of 1,900 years, but now Israel and, in particular, Jerusalem are rebuilt. She will never cease to exist ever again, and one day, Jesus, the King of the Jews, will sit and reign from the throne of His father David. God loves Israel, so much so that His Son came as a Jew.

I leave you with Psalm 122:6. We are called to love who or what God loves.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.”

God bless you,

Dr. Sean Gooding
Pastor of Mississauga Missionary Baptist Church

How to Connect with Us

On Facebook (live broadcast of Sunday’s Message at 11 am): https://www.facebook.com/MississaugaMissionaryBaptistChurch

Join us on Zoom every Sunday (10:30 am) for Sunday Service AND every Tuesday at 8:00 pm for Bible Study: Meeting ID: 700 794 460 Passcode: 032661; https://us02web.zoom.us/j/700794460?pwd=M3NFRG91ZW5Sa2Z3amVyWkFnYXd6QT09

Online: https://www.mmbchurch.ca

Email: support@mmbchurch.ca