Reassurance for Israel

from the Lent 2020: His Love Endures reading plan


Jeremiah 46:1-28, Jeremiah 47:1-7, Jeremiah 48:1-47, Psalm 103:15-19, John 4:23

BY Russ Ramsey

When you go through difficult seasons—times of affliction, vocational uncertainty, financial strain, relational brokenness—do you ever wonder if God has taken a break from attending to your life? Are these seasons of struggle evidence that God is off doing something else? And if we do tend to believe struggle is a sign of God’s absence, then what are we saying we believe about God?

The fates of nations converge in these chapters from Jeremiah. Egypt. Babylon. Israel. The Philistines. Moab. In an ominous declaration, the Lord tells His people that He will bring an end to all those other nations, but not to Israel (Jeremiah 46:28). And here again we are reminded that the Lord rules over all the earth—not just Israel, but every other nation too.

Sometimes it is difficult to look at the world as it is—with all its political division, international turmoil, financial unrest, threats of pandemic disease—and believe that anyone has any control over anything. When we are in the middle of difficult circumstances ourselves, we often feel as though whatever plan the Lord might have, it’s temporarily on hold.

When we read the Lord’s Word about how He will deal with those nations who oppose Him, we see a God who speaks as though He remains in control over the entire cosmos. There is not one word of weakness or uncertainty in God’s declaration of what He will do. Not one. All we have are words of strength.

He is strong when we are not. He is in control when we are disoriented, discouraged, and on the verge of defeat. He is resolute when we are racked with uncertainty. He is fierce when we are depleted. He has a view of eternity when we cannot see what will come in the next seven minutes.

Sometimes we go through hard seasons for reasons we will never fully comprehend. Sometimes we will have hard times because of God’s loving and disciplining hand. Sometimes we will get caught in the switches of living in a broken world, and things will fall apart in ways that will leave us devastated. In all these moments, God is strong, at work, and faithful. And there is no king, pandemic, financial collapse, military conflict, or natural disaster that can wrest power from His hand.

We may not always understand this. We may not always like it. But we can rest in it.

Written by Russ Ramsey

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