Chapter thirty-three records a second message from God while Jeremiah was confined to the Temple courtyard. In this message God made four promises concerning the future regathering of the Jewish nation back to the land of Israel.
First, although the people saw only destruction and death in Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion, God promised renewed life and health in the coming Messianic Kingdom (Jeremiah 33:1-9). As a result of this dramatic reinstatement, all of the surrounding nations will be amazed and will recognize and glorify God for his treatment of his people.
It is important to note that verse three is often used in conjunction with Jeremiah 29:11 by those who follow or teach various versions of “prosperity theology.” In the same way that they claim God’s promise to “prosper you” (Jeremiah 29:11) for themselves, they often believe that Jeremiah 33:3 is God’s promise to give them direct messages about his will or other prophetic revelation. When read in context, though, this was a direct command from God to Jeremiah (no one else) to ask about the future of Israel (nothing else), something that God was going to reveal to him anyway. Any other understanding or use of this passage is incorrect.
Second, the people noticed that, in addition to the actual deaths that would occur in battle, the towns and streets of Jerusalem were essentially deserted, by both humans and animals (Jeremiah 33:10-13). God promised that with the restoration would come the sounds of happiness and celebration once again, and the hills would again be populated with sheep (a sign of prosperity).
Third, God reminded them of his promise to David, that there would forever be an heir to rule over the nation (Jeremiah 33:14-22). In language similar to Jeremiah 31:35-37, where God used the heavens and the ocean depths to emphasize the unbreakable nature of his new covenant with Israel, here God declared that his covenant with David could be broken only if the Jewish people could break the day/night cycle that God established and sustains. He added to this his covenant with the tribe of Levi, that men from their tribe would always be the representatives between God and Israel.
Fourth, God acknowledged that his punishment on Israel and Judah led many people to believe that he had rejected them as his chosen people (Jeremiah 33:23-26). 1 Using the same established, unchanging laws of nature as an example, God promised that he could never reject the Jewish people. By mentioning “the descendants of Jacob,” God did not limit this promise to only the kingdom of Judah, but included all twelve tribes of Israel, even those which are seemingly “lost” at this time. In the restoration, none of God’s people will be lost.
- Even Paul had to address this more than 600 years later in Romans 11, where he gave the same conclusion: nothing could cause God to reject his people. Even though both the Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles were clear on this truth, it is still rejected today by evil people who want to do away with Israel and by Christians who believe that the Church has somehow taken over (or taken away) the role of God’s chosen people from Israel. This heretical teaching is outright blasphemous, as it rejects God’s own promises and accuses him of changing his character, making him untrustworthy. ↩