Monday, December 06, 2010

Journey to Advent--Day Six

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Jeremiah 33:14-16 Prophecy is Still Valid Today

Jeremiah prophecies while confined in the court of the guard. The city of Jerusalem will soon be captured and people will go into exile. However, this message demonstrates hope. He states that the promise made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah will be fulfilled: A King is coming with justice and peace will reign. How wonderful that must have sounded! Peace. Jerusalem would be safe. It was not at the moment. Nevertheless, safety would come.

The King did come, but not as they expected. King Jesus arrived as a baby. He conquered the enemy not with the sword but with His own death. Their safety and peace was not always physical, but spiritual.

What are we to make of this prophecy? We have the advantage of not only looking forward in Advent 2010 but also looking back to the birth of the King. We know the continuation of the story. We have Scripture to fill in missing details. So how does this speak to us this advent season? The first thing that I would note is to not miss to whom was the promise made. Although Jeremiah was speaking to the Southern kingdom, he made it clear that this was the promise to both Israel and Judah. It was for the whole of the then-divided kingdom. Advent is for the whole kingdom of God. None of us is beyond the promises that Jesus’ coming brings. Whether we are new believers or long-time followers of Christ, the promises are real for all of us. There was, and is, no discrimination in who can receive the promise.

Secondly, there is legitimacy of Jesus’ Kingship. To the Jewish audience of the time, the reference to David would emphasize his legitimate claim to rule. For us, I believe that it is a reminder that Jesus’ rule was ordained by God, long-before He came to earth. We live in a world of political pretenders vying for positions of leadership. Many have the legitimate desire to lead, but others are in the game for their own gain. Jesus’ claim to leadership was not for His gain. In fact, it cost Him everything to give us what we most needed—a means of getting to God. He has a legitimate claim to power, then and now.

Lastly, the promise of the prophecy is that the city of Jerusalem would live in safety. Living in safety is appealing. It is a scary world. Many things out there threaten our physical, emotional and psychological well-being. However, our ultimate safety is in the hands of the One who came! He cares for our needs in the here and now. However, the coming of the King was not for the temporal safety here on earth. He provided the way to have eternal safety in a new city. The blood of Jesus bought our safety. Therefore, we need not fear. Isaiah 43:1 tells us to “fear not for I [God] have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name and you are mine.” He will take care of His own.

Just as Jeremiah reminded the people of Judah that a King was coming to meet their needs and calm their fears, he reminds us of the same thing. The message is for us. His authority in our lives is legitimate and his sealing of our eternal safety is sure. What an amazing promise!

Father thank you that the message of hope spoken long ago is still a message of hope today. Thank you for being my King and preparing a place of safety for my future. Amen.

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