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An Everlasting Love


JEREMIAH 31:1-26
Lesson #30

  • Memory Verse: Jer 31:3
  • Jeremiah is in prison. He can no longer go around the city preaching the messages God gives him. Therefore, God tells him to write the messages in a book. (30:1)
  • These messages come from God during the darkest days of Judah’s history, just before the dreadful day of the total destruction of the temple, the city of Jerusalem, and the nation in 586 BC.
    • Already the Babylonian army is surrounding the city of Jerusalem and cutting it off from the rest of the nation.
    • Already hunger within the city gets worse as no food is permitted to enter the city.
  • With these desperate conditions, God gives the people a glimpse of the future with some beautiful promises.
    • Some of these promises are very subtle and reach beyond the people of Jeremiah’s day.
    • Some of these promises relate to us today.
  • Read Jer 31:1-9
    • “…Will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.” (1)
      • This prophecy has never been fulfilled because Israel has never fully acknowledged God, Jehovah, as their God.
        • Notice that God says He will be the God of all the families not individuals.
        • God has a special place in His heart for family relationships.
          • Christians are to develop a family relationship with God at the center of their homes.
          • This idea of families serving God goes through all of the Bible.
        • Besides the fact that Israel has never truly trusted in God, neither have they served God.
        • Even though God miraculously returned Israel to the Promised Land in 1947, there is still a distance in their relationship with God as they do not acknowledge Jesus Christ.
        • They are currently a secular nation.
      • Therefore, this prophecy waits for the Jews to receive Jesus Christ on a national level.
        • The acceptance of their Messiah will occur at the event of the second coming of Jesus Christ. (Zec 12:10-11) It is interesting that this scripture in Zechariah talks about families of Jews coming to Christ at His second coming.
        • Then, in the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ, the Jews will serve God.
    • “…The people which were left of the sword found grace in the wilderness…” (2)
      • We have discussed how the prophecies of Jeremiah will be repeated again. (Remember the prophetic law of double reference that says the prophecies are repeated twice.)
        • We have seen how the Babylonian captivity is not the last captivity about which the prophet told us.
        • He predicted another captivity during the last days of the tribulation period in the future.
          • This future captivity will be by the Antichrist who will persecute and imprison the Jews during the last half of the tribulation period of seven years.
          • This captivity will be in Egypt where the Antichrist makes this nation a penal colony.
      • However, this verse tells us that some of the Jews will find grace in the wilderness.
        • The book of Revelation tells us that 144,000 Jews will be protected from the Antichrist in the wilderness. (Rev 12:6)
        • It is possible that this protection will occur in the city of Petra that is located in the nation of Jordan today.
    • “…I have loved thee with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (3)
      • Here in Jeremiah we can see the depth of God’s love:
        • In this book we see the depth of the unworthiness of Israel because of the idolatry and the disobedience of Israel. By contrast with the depth of Israel’s disobedience and unbelief, we see the depth of God’s love and mercy.
        • Israel has done everything to disrespect God. There is not one attribute of Israel that we could say is the reason that God loves them with an everlasting love.
          • The same is true of every human and every nation of people.
          • None merit the great love and mercy that God has for us.
        • Read 1Joh 4:10
          • The reason for God’s great love exists in the nature of God himself.
          • Only God is “everlasting”. Therefore, it is only God that has this great capacity to love.
      • We see that it is love that draws people to Christ. The love of God is bound together with an extreme patience beyond what man can express.
      • What does this everlasting love do for us today?
        • This message of God’s everlasting love is sent first to the Jews.
          • God has not abandoned Israel for their stubborn rebellion.
          • God’s love is part of His nature, so He will continue to love them.
          • God will deal with the Jews more specifically in the future tribulation period so as to bring them to repentance and to Jesus Christ.

How do we know this message is for the Jews?

Verse 4 tells us that he is talking to Israel.

        • This message of God’s everlasting love is sent to all who have a personal relationship to God through His Son, Jesus Christ, whether Jew or Gentile.
        • It is God’s everlasting love that we rely on for our eternal salvation.
          • God will not change His mind after we have been born again and say, “Well, I thought I would give him salvation, but he has not lived up to my expectation, so I will withdraw my offer of eternal life.”
          • God’s everlasting love sees us through a lifetime of our failures and God’s disappointment to fulfill His plan for us.
        • It is God’s everlasting love that we rely on to live the Christian life through the power of the Holy Spirit that He sent to help us.
    • When God restores Israel, she will be a united country.
      • Remember that for a long time, since the reign of King Solomon, Israel had been a divided nation: the Northern Kingdom of Israel (sometimes called Ephraim) and the Southern Kingdom of Judah.
      • Israel will not be a divided kingdom after the Babylonian captivity. (5-6)
        • The people of Samaria were of mixed blood when Assyria and Babylon moved foreign people into the area.
          • The territory of Samaria was part of the Northern Kingdom called Ephraim after the tribe that initiated the civil war that broke the nation apart. (6)
          • They established a separate worship with a separate temple in Samaria. (Hos 9:8)
        • After the Babylonian captivity, in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ, the Northern Kingdom of Efraim will seek to worship the God Jehovah in Jerusalem again just as they did under King David and King Solomon.
          • Notice that this unity of kingdom and worship did not occur immediately after the Babylonian captivity because we still see the hatred of the Jews for the Samaritans in Jesus’ time. Therefore, while Israel was a united nation in Jesus’ time, the complete fulfillment is not until the Millennial Kingdom yet to come.
          • Ephraim is mentioned 4 times in the chapter (6, 9, 18, 20) as an example of a rebellious tribe in the same way that Jacob is considered the example of a rebellious individual.

“Ephraim is my firstborn” (9)

Ephraim was not Jacob’s firstborn son, Reuben was. (Gen 49:3). Ephraim and Manasseh were the two half-tribes, sons of Joseph.

However, God considers them precious and restored as a father would consider his firstborn son special. God has this special feeling for all the tribes and all the rebellious people, and therefore considers Ephraim an example of all of Israel.

          • As Ephraim is the example of rebellion, it is also the example of the depths that God’s love will go to bring restoration to all the rebellious tribes as they come to know Jesus Christ in the Millennial Kingdom.
    • The promises to the remnant of Israel (7)
      • God has always had a remnant of true believers among the Jews.
      • We see this eternal remnant giving praise and worship to God for God’s beautiful promises.
        • These promises are in the form of statements of determination of what God will do.
        • They are the “I will” statements:
          • =1= “I will be the God of all the families of Israel.” (1)
          • =2= “I will build thee…” (4)
          • =3= “I will bring them forth…” (8)
          • =4= “I will lead them…” (9)
          • =5= “I will cause them to walk…” (9)
          • =6= “I will turn their mourning into joy…” (13)
          • =7= “I will satiate the soul of the priests with fatness…” (14)
          • =8= “I will surely have mercy upon him…” (20)
          • =9= “I shall bring again their captivity…” (23)
          • =10= “I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah…” (27)
          • =11= “I will watch over them to build and to plant…” (28)
          • =12= “I will make a new covenant…” (31)
          • =13= “the covenant I will make with the house of Israel…” (33)
          • =14= “I will put my law in their inward parts…” (33)
          • =15= “I will forgive their iniquity…” (34)
          • =16= “I will remember their sin no more.” (34)
          • =17= “I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done…” (37)
    • The gathering of the Jews: (8-9)
      • On the verge of destroying the nation of Israel, God promises that He will gather His people from around the world and return them to the Promised Land.
        • God will not just return the strong, young men to the Promised Land, He will restore all the people to the land.
        • This includes the poor, the lame, and the weak. In the Millennial Kingdom, they will all inherit God’s promises equally.
      • God had returned the Jews, to some extent, after the Babylonian captivity. However, all the dispersed Jews did not return to Israel when the Persian King Cyrus decreed that the Jews could return home to the Promised Land.
      • All the Jews from around the world did not return to the Promised Land when Israel became a nation in 1947.
      • This prophecy of the gathering of all Israel will not be fulfilled until Jesus Christ establishes His Kingdom on earth for 1000 years. Then when Christ reigns and the Jews believe in Jesus Christ as their Messiah, will they have a heart to desire to live in close proximity to Christ and serve Him.
  • Read Jer 31:10-17 The Shepherd and His Flock
    • God considers the tribes of Israel His flock.
      • He scattered them in captivity, but He gathers them after the captivity. (10)
        • Notice that God uses the illustration of a shepherd.
        • A shepherd knows his sheep and watches them closely.
        • Even though the Jews are scattered over the world today, God knows who they are and watches over them as a shepherd.
      • He redeemed and ransomed them from their enemies. He bought them as slaves and brought them back to the Promised Land as free men. (11)
        • In the same way God redeemed and ransomed Israel when they were in captivity in Egypt by the blood of the Passover lamb, God will do so again when He saves them in the tribulation period.
        • However, at that time the redemption price will be by the blood of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God.
    • “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children…” (15)
      • This verse is very interesting prophetically. (1Sam 30:6)
        • In 1Sam 30:1-6 we find the story of the attack by the Amalekites against David at Ramah. The Amalekites took all the women and children captive.
        • This city is the location of Rachel’s tomb.
      • Read Mat 2:16-18
        • This verse in Matthew is a repeat of the words in Jeremiah as a fulfillment of this prophecy.
        • The New Testament uses this verse to relate to the slaughter of the babies at Jesus’ birth.
      • In Jeremiah’s day King Nebuchadnezzar used the city Ramah as a staging area for all the captives before moving them off to Babylon.
  • Read Jer 31:18-26 Repentant Israel
    • Ephraim is seen repenting of sin. (18) As we have seen before in this chapter, Ephraim is symbolic for all of Israel.
      • Some day Israel will realize that she deserved the chastisement of God for all of her rebellion.
      • That day will occur just before the second coming of Christ when Israel recognizes Jesus Christ as their Messiah. He is the remedy for all of their sin and without him there is no remission of sin.
    • “…a woman shall compass a man.” (22)
      • This verse is rather obscure as to its meaning.
      • Let’s look at the context of the verse:
        • Remember that God considered Israel his wife who had committed spiritual adultery when she worshipped foreign gods and idols.
        • God says He will make Israel like a chaste virgin. (21)
          • Of course, in reality it is impossible to make an adulterer a virgin.
          • God must have something else in mind.
      • Out of Israel will come a virgin that will conceive a child without the interaction of man.
        • That child is Jesus Christ. In the context of the chapter, He comes to provide a means of washing away all sin.
        • Jesus was born of a virgin conceived by the Holy Spirit.
          • Jesus will be the Chief Shepherd over His flock during the Millennial Kingdom.
          • He will reign over his people as a shepherd for 1000 years.
          • Jesus brings with him the new covenant that Jeremiah describes in our next lesson.

Jeremiah 31:27-40

  • Application of Jer 31:1-26
    • As you think about the great depth of love that God expressed to bring you to eternal life in Christ, give Him praise for that love and mercy for which you are not worthy.
  • Preparation for Jer 31:27-40
    • Read Jer 31:27-40
    • Read Heb 8:6-13
      • What are the conditions of the new covenant? What does God promise to do and what must man do?
      • Why is the new covenant better than the old covenant with Moses?
  • Memory Verse: Heb 8:6
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About Joyce

I came to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ in 1963 giving my heart to Jesus in a Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles, CA. I have been teaching the Word of God since 1964, Usually two to three adult classes a week.

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