- Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.
- Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
- Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
- Take a note if you have question, inspiration.
Read Jeremiah 31
The joyful return of the exiles
The prophecy of consolation in chapter 31 is the hope of restoration of exiles in Babylonia. The restoration is going to be done these ways:
Renewal of the Sinai Covenant (v.1)—God will rebuild Israel and call her by a common title for cities and nations, Virgin Israel. Recollecting the covenant God made at Mt Sinai during exodus is a foundation of restoration.
God’s proclamation — “I will,” “declares the Lord,” is repeated pros in this prophecy of consolation. God takes responsibility for scattering the people and now promise to gather them back. God has ransomed them from their captors. God will redeem them to come to Zion and they will enjoy a great festival.
Transformation — recollecting Jacob and Racheal’s story, the story of exiles’ ancestors, they understand the meaning of transformation from weeping to dancing. Racheal symbolizes the mother nation, Israel, who has lost but regains children, but who is now invited to return from exile.
New community — Ephraim is a name used for the Northern Kingdom of Israel. Both exiled from Southern kingdom of Judah and Northern kingdom of Israel will return.
New Covenant — Sour grapes analogy represents old covenant by Moses, the Sinai covenant, on stones. But God will make a new covenant inscribed in the hearts of redeemed people.
New creation — God who created universe, day and night, moon and star, will establish the nation forever. God is promising an eternal covenant with restored Israel, where God’s righteousness is prevailing.
1. What does this passage tell you about God?
2. What does this passage tell you about people.?
3. What does this passage tell you about yourself and God’s will for you?