Updated: Feb 15
As time goes on, devotional time is much needed. Alone time with God is as much a part of growing in Christlikeness as not forsaking the assembly. There has been a massive loss of hope in today's world. With this devotional, the focus will be on Jeremiah 33:3. I have received numerous requests to discuss prayer and this will serve as an introduction.
Contextual History: Examples Of Restoration In The Bible
Examples of restoration In the Bible include God delivering His people from slavery, besiegement, plunder, and captivity in sin. The Book of Jeremiah is believed to have been written by the prophet Jeremiah during Jeremiah's ministry in-between 627 and 586 B.C. Jeremiah during his life was poor, isolated, and persecuted (the majority of God's prophet's were persecuted and killed). He lived for 40 years in Judah before the Israelites were exiled to Babylon. The book is filled with prophecies given to Jeremiah by God with the main message of it being too late for the Israelites to avoid God's discipline and must now accept it and depart from their sins. God tells Jeremiah of the coming restoration of Israel after their time of punishment is completed.
Jeremiah's messages were not well-heeded by the Israelites and he lived to see the invasion of the Babylonians, the deportation of the Israelites, the slaughter of Jerusalem's inhabitants, and the destruction of the temple. With all of this in mind, it is important to remember that God upheld His promise even in discipline to not forsake His people.
"While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the LORD gave him this second message: "This is what the LORD says--the LORD who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the LORD. Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come" (Jeremiah 33:1-3, NLT).
If reading the NASB, the verse would have been stated as such: "Then the Word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the second time, while he was still confined in the court of the guard, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD who made the earth, the LORD who formed it to establish it, the LORD is His name, ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know.’”
Whichever translation is read, the message of a coming trial through discipline is imminent. The backstory of this verse is detailed in Jeremiah 32: 26-44. Below is a short synopsis of why God was allowing Israel to be disciplined.
"Then this message came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 'I am the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me? Therefore, this is what the LORD says: I will hand this city over to the Babylonians and to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, and he will capture it. The Babylonians outside the walls will come in and set fire to the city. They will burn down all these houses where the people provoked my anger by burning incense to Baal on the rooftops and by pouring liquid offerings to other gods. Israel and Judah have done nothing but wrong since their earliest days. T
hey have infuriated me with all their evil deeds,' says the LORD. 'From the time this city was built until now, it has done nothing but anger me, so I am determined to get rid of it. The sins of Israel and Judah--the sins of the people of Jerusalem, the kings, the officials, the priests, and the prophets--have stirred up my anger. My people have turned their backs on me and have refused to return. Even though I diligently taught them, they would not receive instruction or obey. They have set up their abominable idols right in my own Temple, defiling it. They have built pagan shrines to Baal in the valley of Ben-Hinnom, and there they sacrifice their sons and daughters to Molech. I have never commanded such a horrible deed; it has never crossed my mind to command such a thing. What an incredible evil, causing Judah to sin so greatly'" (Jeremiah 32 26-35).
The Importance of Prayer
Prayer is a dialogue between man and God. For the believer, God does not see him/her as an enemy, but as a friend. This is explained in Romans 5:10 and John 15:15. Prayer takes the focus off of the self and onto God, an expression of humility. When God is approached "in Jesus' name," His authority is confessed over all heaven and earth. Prayer is equally important in peace and war, in the quiet hour alone and corporately in the church. It is just as important during times of plenty and the storms of life. Israel's discipline came in the shape of invasion by an enemy nation's army. Israel had turned away from God and likewise made up their own. The Christian can still do this today, the idol being anything that is more worshipped than God. Prayer is much needed especially in these areas because it is admitting sin and turning to God for aid and restoration.
God's lovingkindness was shown toward Jeremiah who had not forsaken God and toward His people whom He would not allow to be tried beyond what He would allow. According to Benson's Commentary of this passage on Bible Hub, the Hebrew phrase used for "I will tell you remarkable secrets" (NLT) or "I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not know" (NASB), means "great and abstruse, hidden." God would further reveal what is to come. God still sometimes waits to reveal His plans until a later time even today. The importance of prayer has not ceased or changed with time. It is still used to have fellowship with God. God is glorified through prayer and commands His followers to pray and delights in hearing their prayers, as mentioned in Proverbs 15:8 and John 4:23.
Closing Thoughts on the Examples Of Restoration In The Bible
Jeremiah watched as Israel did not heed his warnings form God and were overtaken by the Babylonians. Let us not be hard of hearing today and turn from sin that has created a stronghold that only brings destruction. I will talk further about prayer in posts to come as the topic has been requested by numerous people. The chat is still available to be used for questions or concerns regarding products in the store or Biblical questions in general. The email email@example.com is also available to be used.
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