Jacob's Time of Trouble, Judah and Israel Going Home
The Only Peace of Mind
TEXT FOR PRAYER
God’s Merciful Plea
I shall read from “The Mount of Blessing,” page 217, beginning with the first paragraph–
“But to-day mercy pleads with the sinner. ‘As I live, saith the Lord God, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die?’ The voice that speaks to the impenitent to-day is the voice of Him who in heart-anguish exclaimed as He beheld the city of His love: ‘O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killeth the prophets, and stoneth them that are sent unto her! How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her own brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate!’ In Jerusalem, Jesus beheld a symbol of the world that had rejected and despised His grace. He was weeping, O stubborn heart, for you! Even when Jesus’ tears were shed upon the mount, Jerusalem might yet have repented, and escaped her doom. For a little space the Gift of heaven still waited her acceptance. So, O heart, to you Christ is still speaking in accents of love: ‘Behold I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.’ ‘Now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.’”
We should pray that we gladly respond to God’s merciful plea; that we realize that His aim is to save us from eternal ruin; that we should respond now in the day of salvation; that we know He is pleading for us today as He pled for Jerusalem at the time of His first advent; that the door of our hearts be never closed to Him.
We are now to continue the same subject which we have been studying from the book of Isaiah, but today we shall study it from the book of Jeremiah.
To begin with, we shall notice that the first chapters of the book deal with ancient Judah and Israel, with their sins and stubbornness of heart, and with their resultant dispersion throughout the Gentile nations. The thirtieth chapter, however, deals, not with the scattering of ancient Judah and Israel, but with the gathering of Judah and Israel in our day.
We shall now begin our study with the first three verses–
Jer. 30:1-3 – “The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. For, lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel and Judah, saith the Lord: and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.”
Note that both Judah and Israel together have the promise of returning to their homeland. As this has never yet been realized, the prophecy is yet to be fulfilled.
Verses 4-6 – “And these are the words that the Lord spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah. For thus saith the Lord; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?”
The cause of the fear here forecast is fundamentally needless and unnecessary, declares the Lord.
Verse 7 – “Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.”
The people that have come to this antitypical time of trouble are returning to the homeland, are comforted. Apparently it is bad enough to frighten all, but God’s encouraging counsel is, “Fear not.”
Plainly, the burden of this chapter is concerning the antitypical returning to the homeland. Though terrible the trouble may seem, yet the outcome of it is to be the same as in the type. Right now we may not appreciate this study as we ought to, but the time is soon coming in which we will dig as fast and as hard for it as we would to get out from under an avalanche. Those who have but little faith in the Word of God though, the study will not do them much good. Now is the time to start cultivating the faith we need to have then.
Jacob, our type, well knew that God had directed his return from Padanaram to the homeland, yet he trembled when he heard that Esau, with four hundred men were on the way to meet him. Besides, he was led to wrestle with the angel all night long. He prevailed only because he would not let the Angel go until He blest him. The final result was that on the morrow, Esau, rather than destroying the whole company, very kindly greeted Jacob with a kiss, and cordially invited him to return home! So when it all worked itself out, Jacob plainly saw that there was no need at all to have ever feared. How encouraging that “all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Cor. 10:11. That which happened to Jacob is sure to happen to us, and how comforting to know all this ahead of time. Now, if never before we should see that where there is a type there is also an antitype, and that where there is no type, there is no Truth.
Verse 8 – “For it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, that I will break his yoke from off thy neck, and will burst thy bonds, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him.”
This verse plainly says that God is to free His people from the Gentile yoke, and that strangers [unconverted] shall no more trouble them.
Verse 9 – “But they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.”
No longer shall the followers of Truth serve others, but they shall serve the Lord, and a king whom God Himself shall provide.
Verse 10 – “Therefore fear thou not, O My servant Jacob, saith the Lord; neither be dismayed, O Israel: for, lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest, and be quiet, and none shall make him afraid.”
There is therefore no need of fear, but there is a need for faith in the promises of God.
Verse 11 – “For I am with thee, saith the Lord, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.”
The punishment dealt to Israel is their being scattered among the Gentiles as amplified in the verses which follow. The time of freedom has nevertheless come, and for this we should be glad and give God the glory.
Verses 12-19 – “For thus saith the Lord, Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous. There is none to plead thy cause, that thou mayest be bound up: thou hast no healing medicines. All thy lovers have forgotten thee; they seek thee not; for I have wounded thee with the wound of an enemy, with the chastisement of a cruel one, for the multitude of thine iniquity; because thy sins were increased. Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee. Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all that prey upon thee will I give for a prey. For I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds, saith the Lord; because they called thee an Outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no man seeketh after. Thus saith the Lord; Behold, I will bring again the captivity of Jacob’s tents, and have mercy on his dwellingplaces; and the city shall be builded upon her own heap, and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof. And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small.”
After having gone through their captivity, the people shall fully realize God’s mercy and His wisdom to save them. They shall be happy forevermore, for He will multiply them in the land of their fathers, and there He will make them great.
Verse 20 – “Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before Me, and I will punish all that oppress them.”
The Kingdom (the church purified and apart from the world) is to be as natural and as real as was the kingdom of ancient Israel, but there will be no sinners in It.
Verses 21-23 – “And their nobles shall be of themselves, and their governor shall proceed from the midst of them; and I will cause him to draw near, and he shall approach unto Me: for who is this that engaged his heart to approach unto Me? saith the Lord. And ye shall be My people, and I will be your God. Behold, the whirlwind of the Lord goeth forth with fury, a continuing whirlwind: it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked.”
Their nobles shall be of themselves; that is, this Kingdom shall be self-governing under theocracy. The word “behold” calls attention to something that can be seen and therefore implies that the Lord’s whirlwind is already doing its work. No wonder, then, that we are now having disturbance of all kinds, and heavy loss of life and property throughout the earth.
Verse 24 – “The fierce anger of the Lord shall not return, until He have done it, and until He have performed the intents of His heart: in the latter days ye shall consider it.”
The very fact that these truths are now revealed, and also the fact that the things foretold by the Scriptures are now taking place, plainly show that we are now living in the latter days, – the days in which we must consider the cause of the evils which envelop the whole world, and make our calling and election sure.
How thankful we ought to be that the Lord is feeding us with “meat in due season”! Though people kill one another by the millions in order to free themselves from the yoke of some other nation, Moses freed ancient Israel without a casualty. We should now know that faith removes mountains, while doubt ruins nations. We should no longer be fools and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have written (Lu. 24:25) “Believe” was Jesus’ motto, and it should be ours, too. No doubters will ever enter His Kingdom.
These things are written “that ye might believe….” John 20:31.
There is but one sensible conclusion that you can come to, and that is to whole-heartedly accept and to comply with all the prophets have written. Let no one divert your attention from this Truth.