Judgment Before Final Restoration to the Land

16: 14-21

DIG: What rays of hope do you see in this otherwise dismal picture? What great event in Y’hudah’s past did YHVH say would be exceeded by His eventual deliverance? What is so doubly detestable to God about idol worship that fishermen and hunters would be sent after them? Judgment will come before the final restoration of Judah back to the Land.

REFLECT: While you are going through difficult times in your life, what promises do you have from Yeshua Messiah? Everything will turn out ok? Is that true? Is there a new restoration in your lifetime? How so? Beyond the grave? How so? Are you sure?

607 BC during the eleven-year reign of Jehoiakim

The new restoration: However, the days are coming, declares ADONAI, when it will no longer be said, “As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of Egypt.” When Jeremiah (under the direction of the Holy Spirit) uses the phrase in the days to come; the days are coming; in those days; in that day, at that time; or for the time will surely come, the context points either to the near historical future or the far eschatological future and which one should be used. This is the sixth of twenty-five times that Yirmeyahu uses one of these phrases.

Before Jeremiah’s day the exodus was the high point of Jewish history. But two higher points of Jewish history have yet to come when it will be said: As surely as the LORD lives, who brought the Israelites up out of the land of the north (in the near historical future of the return of the Babylonian exiles) . . . and . . . out of all the countries (plural) where I had banished them (in the far eschatological future at the end of the Great Tribulation), I will restore them to the Land I gave their ancestors (16:14-15). So even though the immediate future looked extremely bleak, there was a bright future ahead.

There is a heretical movement today called the Hebrew Roots movement that perverts these scriptures. They do not believe in the Trinity or that the Holy Spirit is a Person. Founded in 1994, they are basically Gentiles teaching a return to the slavery of the 613 commandments of Moses. Like the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ they mistakenly believe that the Ruach HaKodesh is merely energy, like electricity. They use Jeremiah 16:14-15 to teach, what they call, the Greater, or Second Exodus. Meaning that before Yeshua’s Second Coming, God's people will return to the land promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. To that end, they teach desert survival techniques. But here, Yirmeyahu isn’t referring to a regathering now, but at the end of the Dispensation of the Great Tribulation.

Judgment before final restoration: The rounding up of the population is graphically described under the imagery of fishing and hunting. But now I will send for many fishermen to fish for Jewish idolaters, declares God, and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters to hunt for the Israelites, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks. Why? Because of the sins of the nation. My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from Me, nor is their sin concealed from My eyes (16:16-17).

I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled My Land with the lifeless forms of their vile images and have filled My inheritance with their detestable idols (16:18). The reason the Jews will suffer more than anyone else, especially during the Great Tribulation, is because of the principle found here of double punishment (Isaiah 40:1-2). What Jeremiah has said in these verses he will elaborate on more fully in Chapters 31-33.

The conversion of the Gentiles: Then Jeremiah replied: LORD, my strength and my refuge in time of distress, to You the [Gentile] nations will come from the ends of the earth and say: Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods, worthless idols that did them no good. Do people make their own gods? Yes, but they, in reality, are not gods at all. But merely images made of wood and stone (16:19-20)! They will say, “How could we ever have believed the work of our hands to be a god?”

They had done this in the past but they will do it no more. The context here is the far eschatological future (16:15). Untold millions of Gentiles will be saved from all over the world during the Great Tribulation (see the commentary on Revelation Fk – Gentiles in the Messianic Kingdom). In Zechariah 14:16-19 we learn that the survivors of the Great Tribulation will go up year after year to Jerusalem to worship the LORD and to celebrate the festival of Sukkot. If, however, a particular nation does not go up, they will be stricken with drought. Then ADONAI answered His prophet, saying: Therefore, I will teach them – this time I will teach them My power and might. Then they will know that My name is the LORD (16:21). They will then be convinced that I AM indeed King and Ruler, able to fulfill My promises and enforce My decrees.

 

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