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GOD IS A
WHOSE WORD IS TRUTH AND
WHOSE WORKS INCLUDE BOTH CREATION
AND THE CALLING TO A COMPLETED REDEMPTION
THE INEFFACEABLE WRITTEN GUARANTEE TO ISRAEL,
AND THE GUIDE TO THE COMING OF CHRIST
There is an indelible, a certain, an inerosible, an indefeasible guarantee from God to Israel. To be sure there are phases as the nation embarked on spiritual crazes, as it often did (as you see so very clearly both in the prophecy of Deuteronomy 32 and the historical coverage of Ezekiel 20 and Psalm 106, not to mention II Kings and II Chronicles for example); and it was duly rebuked and suffered much for its unholy horsiness, as if making love to foreign gods. That is how God puts it as in Hosea and Ezekiel 23:1-35, and in particular vv. 21-25.
The 'lovers' are a pseudonym for other gods with whatever induced Israel to admire the cultures or ways or power of those who used them (as exemplified in II Kings 16:9-11, in the case of King Ahaz), along with the gods themselves. It simply meant that they sailed for the rocks as if on course for it; and duly hit them. Its was flirtatious in spirit, disputatious with God, renegacy relative to the covenant of the Almighty, a thing much imitated in this, our own falling end of the Age epic.
Yet reality does not budge. Rationalising does not move truth, or the God who alone can enable it so much as to exist (outside the rambling interactions of systems). Hope and haplessness do not herald another God. Disobedience does not create one. In other words, sow the wind and reap the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7). Play the fool and find its source. The Lord sums it up in Ezekiel 23:35:
"Because you have forgotten Me, and cast Me behind your back,
therefore you will bear the penalty of your lewdness and your harlotry."
It was not merely poor performance (Isaiah 42 shows how the Lord does not break the bruised reed), for it was deliberate pertinacious rebellion, a sickness of spirit, a roving of mind that became almost a raving of heart, as noxious fumes were willingly inhaled, and holiness was pointedly despised.
Thus there was in a whole series of national delinquencies (of course not involving ALL of Israel, which kept a remnant in Judah, and indeed within that, for some remained with the Lord). It was marred further with disgraceful kings like Manasseh and Ahaz, not to dwell on Ahab, who misled the people; but yet they were willing to be misled, and as Jeremiah was moved to write (5:31):
"The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests rule by their own power,
and My people love to have it so. But what will you do in the end ?"
Just how MUCH the prophets fooled with spiritual fiascos, you read in Jeremiah 23; but then as is the norm as likewise the necessity, you find that it is the Messiah who in the end will correct it all, and be gracious to Israel. This you find in Jeremiah 23:5-8, Ezekiel 34, and Isaiah 10:1- 11:6, as in the transition from Isaiah 41-42, the end of one to the beginning of the other, where the hopeless case of Israel as a misled servant of God is expressly contrasted with the saving strength of the Messiah.
As to Him, His penalty payment in His own Person is shown in Isaiah 49-55, while His rule on this earth is exhibited in Isaiah 11, 32, Psalm 2 and 72 for example.
Moreover, He is not only for redeemed Israel - those who in great bulk come at last to Him as in Zechariah 12:-13, and Romans 11, but for Gentile believers as well, as in Isaiah 42:6, 49:6, Jeremiah 16:19-21. It is a long time, preparing them for this!
This is background. Now we move to the sequence so broadly sited in Jeremiah 30-33. This has in some ways been covered before*1, but today the purpose is to be brief in overview. It starts with the assurance that God will restore Israel from its captivity. As Isaiah 11:10ff. shows, there is for this a first and a second time. There was a captivity brought about by Babylon, one of seventy years duration as was foretold in Jeremiah 25's declaration. This was one which would affect many more nations than just Israel. It would therefore terminate shortly and in Ezra and Nehemiah you see the restoration works in progress, with divine aid: indeed, there were times of rejoicing, and as Nehemiah 8:10 declared: "The joy of the Lord shall be your strength."
The other time of exile is far longer (and exile is foretold in Leviticus 26 as in Deuteronomy and Hosea), and the termination of THAT is found in two stages as in Ezekiel 36-37. The first*2 is found in their national restoration to their land, and the second in their spiritual restoration to the bosom of their God, through that same Son of man, whom they betrayed as in Zechariah 11, and killed, as shown in Zechariah 12:10, amidst scenes of poignant repentance. Here, centuries before Christ came into this world, you see depicted the repentance at the crucifixion to come.
In this same chapter of the prophecy of Zechariah, we find the roll call of fascinating and glorious triumphs against those who seek to overpower Israel. This precedes in the same Chapter, their repentance for killing Him, and is hence after that event, for you do not mourn for what you have not yet done!
Those foretold exploits were fulfilled in 1948, 1967,1973 (cf. SMR Ch. 9). In this case, the consummation of the procedure, restoration is spiritual and to the Lord Himself, having borne sin as Saviour at the date foretold by Daniel 9:24-27*3. It is to Him (as seen in Zechariah 14*3A) now coming to rule on this earth (as in Psalm 2, 72, Revelation 5:10,20:6, Isaiah 9:6-7), before in due course, its final dismissal (Revelation 21:1), and the institution of a new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells (cf. II Peter 3).
Now let us consider the Chapters 30-33 of Jeremiah with a view to the overall sweep of things.
Firstly, the procedures and historical processes are to come to this, that the Lord will break the bonds of those who seek to enslave the nation (almost as if the Pharaoh desires at Exodus, to keep them in bondage, had become some kind of international game, pursued in the Inquisition, made a practice in the pogroms, epitomised in Hitler, exhibited in Stalin). WHEN He finally does this, then (30:9), "they will serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up for them." Quite contrary to the error exposed in the last Chapter concerning the Forum article in The Australian, there is here a happy ending, as in Ezekiel 37-39. It is the spiritual rebellion which in vast measure is snuffed, NOT the nation!
With such an eventual prospect, there is no reason to fear; indeed Jesus made it clear (Luke 21:24), that Jerusalem would be liberated from the occupancy of the other nations, and WHEN this happened, the time of the Gentile nations, their little dog time time, wagging its tail so boisterously on this earth, would be over. Then terminal events would occur as shown in Luke 21 and Matthew 24, for example. Israel would be in significant and sudden measure (Romans 11:15ff.), restored to that very same God and His unchanged and worshipful wonder as it had known in the first place (symbolised in Romans 11 by their being 'grafted' back once more into their own tree, from which they had been cut out, and into which the Gentiles were grafted in).
This however as Romans 11:18-22, was not so that the Gentiles nations - some of which showed a significant movement towards Christianity, as in the Roman Empire under Constantine, in Great Britain and others - could glory in themselves or imagine that THEY were THE PEOPLE. Take heed if you boast, said Paul in Romans 11, lest you FALL; for if they fell, Israel, why not you! There are no myths with God; truth rules. While pardon is found in the Messiah, pollution is to be found nowhere: where you are, you are!
Thus Jeremiah 30:10 tells Israel not to fear: the good things come. God in fact then declares this:
"Though I make a full end of all nations where I have scattered you,
yet I will not make a complete end of you. But I will correct you in justice,
and will not let you go altogether unpunished."
After this, in Jeremiah 30, God reviews their contemporary situation in the day of Jeremiah, the prophet who speaks in His name.
"Your affliction is incurable ..."(30:12).
"All your lovers have forgotten you," 30:14.
A good end does not make a good beginning and this part of their history is appalling.
"Because your sins have increased, I have done these things to you," 30:14.
The indictments as in Isaiah 1 and Amos 2:9-16, 4:1-13, Joel 3:3 proceed:
"They have divided up My land. They have cast lots for My people, have given a boy as payment for a harlot ,and sold a girl for wind, that they may drink."
saiah 3 specifies things on the feminine side. Amos 8:5-8, where there is reference to "falsifying the scales by deceit, that we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of sandals - even sell the bad wheat."
Isaiah 3:15 exhorts them in this way:
" What do you mean by crushing My people, and grinding the faces of the poor ?'
says the Lord God of hosts."
Leaving "the rock from which you were hewn" (Isaiah 51:1-2, Deuteronomy 32:15ff.), the God who redeemed them from Egypt, they have shown the results in their very faces and functions; leaving the head, they harm the body! (Ephesians 4:12-15).
That was the contemporary, the short term acuteness of their folly before their 70 year exile in the 6th century B.C.. This was a prelude; but alas, into what duress they were foretold to come, as they have come, after they rejected the very Saviour Himself, when He came in body as one of them, though without sin, to save and to deliver. While in a marvel and wonder of humbling and service, He so came (Matthew 20:28), yet to Israel when He at last come on the scene at the appointed time (the "fulness of times" as Paul is moved to call it in Galatians 4), it was only to be "abhorred" by the nation (Isaiah 49:7, 53:1-6), and slain in the flesh: a sort of definitive finale to their flight from God.
Many are the modern nations which in effect, and in persecution, have done just the same, this time using Christians as a chopping block for their rebellion; for as to one and as to all, it matters little what idol you have and what god you create: God Himself merely rejects what rejects Him, and the cut off branch lies on the ground, as good as dead spiritually to expand from the image, whatever particular folly and spiritual disease led to its severance!
As God, thus, reviewed the contemporary condition in the day of Jeremiah the prophet in Jeremiah 30:12-15, He also left something more and very kind. In His unquenchable mercy, always flowing until the day comes when the flesh could no longer endure as it strives (Isaiah 57:15ff., cf. Matthew 23:37ff., Luke 19:42ff.), though the Lord Himself was to be grandly rejected by Israel the nation, in the most express manner, yet He suddenly brought in two elements very different.
Firstly (Jeremiah 30:16), He declares that He will deal with the assassins of the nation, the invaders, the despoilers (you may recall what happened to two of that epoch, namely Assyria and Babylon, ruins of the famed capital cities of both disadorning the desert).
"Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured;
and all your adversaries every one of them, shall go into captivity."
We remember even East Berlin and East Germany...
It is because some were saying, "There is Zion; no one seeks her," in their arrogant weltering in their own prestige, as though they were something, that He will act (Jeremiah 30:17). You see the same intent in Isaiah 51, just before the famed exhibition of the saving atonement then to be wrought, but now long ago wrought, by the Messiah. Thus we find in Isaiah 51:22-23, from which this is taken:
"See, I have taken out of your hand the cup of trembling,
the dregs of the cup of My wrath;
you will no longer drink it.
But I will put it into the hand of those who afflict you,
who have said to you,
'Lie down, that we may walk over you,'
and you have laid your body like the ground, and as the street,
for those who walk over."
This leads on in Isaiah to the atonement of the Messiah, the everlasting kindness of God to those who, in this one and only Saviour (Isaiah 43:10-11, 45:22ff., 53:6), find Him, and the freedom of salvation without charge (Isaiah 54-55) and at last, moving to Isaiah 60 we come to the whole body of the Messiah's people, with Jerusalem an image (the very walls being 'salvation'), in a glorious light from Him, and 61, where the redemption is seen in terms of liberation from captivity. This, Jesus identified as primarily that of sin (John 8:34-36). Isaiah 59 specialises on the sins that precede His return in glorious power to rule (occurring in 59:21), just as 66 shows the Lord intervening for Israel, in terms of the Gospel light, and delivering them as a people who believe, a joy to the witnessing Gentile believers when this comes (Deuteronomy 32:43, as in Romans 11:15,24-25).
Reverting to our centre for this Chapter, Jeremiah 30-33, we find then that God "will restore health" to Israel. We have already found the ultimate of this in Jeremiah 30:9, when they are restored to "David your King," who of course is the Messiah, in the flesh descendant of David according to Covenant (II Samuel 7), and thus at that time, still to be 'raised up.'
Meanwhile, Jerusalem is to be rebuilt (as in a preliminary fashion in Ezra and Jeremiah - Jeremiah 30:19), and there is to come to it "their Governor from their midst," who will be caused to "draw near" to the Lord, "and He shall approach Me," 30:21. Evoking thought, the Lord then asks, "For who is this who pledges His heart to approach Me ? says the Lord."
That phase however is not near (30:24), but specified for "the latter days," that is the time of the culmination of these things, affecting as has been noted, both Jew and Gentile. This timing resembles that in Jeremiah 23:20, where it is in these same latter days that the phenomenon of false prophets who run but are not sent by the Lord, is to reach its maturity, its epitome, its singular horror, as we find in fact in this, our own time, which is that specified in Acts 2 from Joel, and as in Luke 21 with its various criteria for its indentification. The most obvious of these, the return of Israel to its own land and of Jerusalem in it, to that people, is and has been indeed a singular event, with a periodicity of one in about 1900 years! It cannot be mistaken.
Now we find the Lord's assurance that in the end He will indeed BUILD Israel, and Zion will be a place of attention. Yes
"He who scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd does his flock; for the Lord has redeemed Israel," Jeremiah 31:11.
Despite this delightful interlude, possibly that with Ezra and Nehemiah, a type of that which will come when the King comes as He will (Psalm 72), adorned with Zechariah's use for it of symbolism relative to both priest and governor, for the later day of the Messiah Himself (Zechariah 3 and 4): yet suddenly we are launched into the next phase (Jeremiah 31:15). There is to be heard a national grieving, as for a vast, an enormous, a soul-racking bereavement. "Rachel," symbol from the past for Israel, is heard lamenting. Why is this so ? (Jeremiah 31:15). It is because of her children. Indeed, she is "refusing to be comforted." For this there is adequate reason: it is because "they are not." Being is denied them on this earth: they are slain! The latter-day Pharaoh, Herod, played his infamous part in the history of the Jews, killed many in a Hitleresque systematic manner.
In other words a massive slaughter of children was predicted to occur, in Jeremiah's time around the start of the 6th century B.C., and it was shown that it would come after the initial restoration. When it did come, it would bring, for a time, inconsolable grief to Israel. That was fulfilled in the "slaughter of the innocents," a deed perpetrated by Herod, in the light of the news from the kings from the East, concerning the birth of the Messiah.
Apparently that wicked King wished to preserve to eternity the government of his hand and maybe some of his own family. It did not work for God sent the child to Egypt till that murderous, Herodian impulse was fulfilled. He had another work for Christ to endure, than extermination on earth as a babe by a murderer. In this, as it has been put, "the soul of His suffering" would be "the suffering of His "soul".
While Christ, then, did not die at that time, this lamentable event does however show the scale of international hatred for Israel, when Herod could slaughter a whole age group of children, as if in a whim, and Hitler a few million in factory of death conditions. It is not only the hatred of men, but that of Satan which spews forth on an identifable body much used in the testimony of God to man, for well over a millenium. How it is hated by how many, therefore, when this X-ray on sin, who however is will to atone for it, is shown to have His accoutrements, like Israel and Jerusalem proceeding as foretold, in the very face of unbelief, and not only so, by moving just as foretold IN DETAIL!
In Jeremiah 32, the coverage of events now proceeds.
The Lord Himself then comforts 'Rachel,' or Israel so symbolised, declaring that there is hope in her future (31:17). In other words, the catastrophic event just noted is solemn and deadly, but one of the landmarks on the way to a very different end. This is not the end but its doleful prelude. Then, in Jeremiah 31, there follows the ground of the eventual restoration, as noted above, first to the land and then in spirit, to continue on to the coming of the Lord Himself to rule (as in Zechariah 12:10-14:5). The first part of this has already occurred in the life-time of this author!
What then does Jeremiah tell of this time. It is a tender-hearted relay from the repentance of Israel as specified in Romans 11:25ff. as in Zechariah 12-13. Now the symbol for Israel becomes as it sometimes does, Ephraim, a name for a prominent tribe.
"I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus:
' You have chastised me, and I was chastised,
as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke:
turn me, and I shall be turned;
for thou art the LORD my God.
'Surely after I was turned, I repented;
and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh:
I was ashamed, yes, even confounded,
|because I bore the reproach of my youth.'
"Is Ephraim My dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spoke against him,
I do earnestly remember him still:
therefore My bowels are troubled for him;
I will surely have mercy upon him, says the LORD.
"Set your heart toward the highway,
The way in which you went, O virgin of Israel.
Turn back to those your cities.
How long wilt thou gad about,
O you backsliding daughter ?
for the LORD has created a new thing in the earth,
A woman shall compass a man."
This is a magnificent exercise in symbolism and in-depth portrayal, short, incisive, enlightening.
Here is an intimate witness of a broken heart, realising its sin, returning to the Lord, holding up in horror soiled hands and finding shame and confusion in the things done.
But God is the witness who counts, and speaking in delightful kindness to the erring offspring, He asks ... "Is Ephraim My dear son ?" and avows, "I do earnestly remember him still." He is greatly moved for him, and invites him back to his former cities, but in so doing, He makes clear what has been the stumbling block, one which must be removed.
What is that stumbling block ? It is one characterised by the CONTRARY journey on the part of Israel of "gadding about" (Jeremiah 31:22). In other words, it is to THIS thing that attention must be made, and it is precisely here that the crux of contentment lies, and the end of anguish.
In what, then, does it consist, this wonder ? Why it is just the same as announced as such to a non-heeding King Ahaz (Isaiah 7), the virgin-born Son specified further in Isaiah 40:10 and 9:6-7, as Almighty God, in other words the incarnate Messiah. Here is the mode of entry into this world, which is where we are placed and where we need to keep our eyes open, and not so tightly closed that we CANNOT (because will not) see. A WOMAN WILL ENCOMPASS A MAN! That is the divine annunciation which is to be heeded instead of constant peregrinations in philosophy and religion. This is where the relevant action for release is to be found.
Yes a virgin will give birth to the Lord (Matthew 1:23), as in Genesis 3:15 in the protevangelion, so that despite the race being in grip of it with Satan's unwelcome attention, as there, it is nonetheless one of the seed of woman who WILL DO IT ALL, and deliver a people from this bondage so precious to Satan, so blighting to mankind.
"For unto us a child is born, a son is given," cries the prophet Isaiah (9:6). His name is in excited segments, Prince of Peace whose kingdom will not end, but increase, He is also as in the other parallels, Almighty God, and Counsellor. So here comes that same crux which as in Isaiah 8-9 is responsible for making grief become joy and anguish delight. It is shortly after this in Jeremiah 31:31ff., that the New Covenant which depends on this incarnation and redemption by means of it, is announced, so that the law of God will be then written on the very heart. Just as the Messiah is predicted to come, so here the means of it, a woman encompassing a man, and the result of it, the New Covenant (in His blood as in Isaiah 53, Matthew 26:28), is thus instituted.
God is very determined about all this, and His resolution to perform all of it (as in Hosea 13:14 where 'pity will be hidden from My eyes,' so that it cannot be aborted) is characterised at length. The astronomical arrangements concerning this earth could more readily be broken than this the Lord's determination to bring this salvation, this incarnation, this restoration to pass! Such is the intimation from the Lord, here in Jeremiah 31:35-37.
"If," indeed, "heaven above can be measured,
and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath,
I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done,
says the Lord,"
This scarcely equivalent to some strange notion that Christians expect the demolition of Israel! It is indeed the exact opposite. We rejoice with them in what is coming for them.
Then we come to some personal but symbolic work on the part of the prophet Jeremiah himself, in his own day.
He goes out of the city in the day of its troubles, when its past was producing its troubled future with vigour, and buys from his uncle a piece of land to which he had a kind of legal attachment. He pays for it, though its future as valuable real estate is more than liable to problems, since the city has been predicted to fall! (Jeremiah 25 shows the 70 year exile to follow). Clearly therefore his purchase, contrary to normal commercial reason, must have symbolic significance; and so it has.
Jeremiah is not insensitive to this point. He makes supplication to the Lord in terms of the overall history of Israel and its present vulnerability, Jeremiah 31:17-25. The Lord answers: "Is there anything too hard for Me ?" After all, as He declares, "I am the Lord, the God of all flesh." He is not a racial God, some symbol of something or other; He is the God who created the universe and man within it and nothing hinders Him in His ultimate plans. He both can and does do what He declares.
ONE of those things is this, that Israel will not perish, and Jerusalem will eventually return to it and the Lord to that self-same city (Zechariah 14:5, Micah 4). Indeed, He acknowledged, the Babylonians would destroy the city, and that for good reason (Jeremiah 32:30-35), as authorised by the Lord (though their way of doing it would bring them penalty enough - Jeremiah 50:10-20). Yet, this is not the end, not at all. Thus (Jeremiah 32:37-44), He is going to restore the city (as with Ezra and Nehemiah), and in due time will "make an everlasting covenant with them" - Jeremiah 32:40, and He declares, "I will rejoice over them" - 32:41. This is so, because just as He brought them out, so He will bring them back, and normal commerce will resume in a settled state - as of course, it did, and was even expanded in the days of the Jewish Maccabees, who made a mini-empire of no small weight!
The Lord then, as seen in Jeremiah 33, exhorts Jeremiah to call on Him, to seek assurance and information of a definite character concerning His will, indeed, He is ready to disclose "great and mighty things, which you do not know."
Jeremiah then hears that while the citizens of Jerusalem prepare to fight the Babylonians (referred to in their cultural synonym, 'the Chaldeans'), it is futile, for it will result only in dead bodies. Houses have been pulled down to accommodate armaments for the city, but it is in vain. Devastation is assuredly coming. This is unchanged. But it is not the end.
Yet "I will bring it health and haling: I will heal them and reveal to them the abundance of peace and truth," the Lord divulges. The places are to be rebuilt as at the first.
They will of course be cleansed in that time (Jeremiah 33:8), but it will again be an exhibit to all nations (33:9), who seeing the blessing of the Lord will realise with fear the nature of Him whose is Israel (and indeed as God of all flesh, whose are they who ignore Him)!
Whereas the city will indeed lie desolate (and HOW desolate you see in fulfilment, in Lamentations of Jeremiah!), yet it will be a place of joy and gladness, marriage and praise. Captivity will be shattered, and freedom resume.
The Lord then moves on, as so often, to the epic and epochal act that He is to perform (His strange and unusual act as in Isaiah 28:29 and 29:14, which Paul expounds in I Corinthians 1).
"A Branch of righteousness" (Jeremiah 33:12-13) will come to Israel, even as foretold later in Zechariah 6:12-13, where it is made clear that He will in this branch "bear the glory", and that it will in itself provide peace between prince and priest, a thing not possible in essence, except that being beyond prince and priest, as Messiah, He incorporates both offices, beyond the restrictions and limits of administration and symbol. In this, He surpasses in the New Covenant, the limitations in the Old, both fulfilling it and substantiating into actual reality what had in the Old Covenant been both preparatory and in much, symbolic.
The action thus moves to the terms of the New Covenant, as in Jeremiah 31:31. This leads on to Gentile conflux in Christ (as in Isaiah 42:6, 49:6, Jeremiah 16, Isaiah 65:13-15, 66 in its finale), so that those from afar will also build in the Temple (Zechariah 6:15), which being now a New Covenant One, is the body of Christ. In this epoch, glory will be heard, praise from the coastlands (Isaiah 24:15-16) - in fact, it will contain this essence, the song: "Glory to the righteous!" who at the same time is shown to have been, for His own part, treated MOST treacherously, involving woe!
This is as always, the Messiah who, being accounted smitten of God, is yet the One to bear iniquity, being in fact smitten by it. Indeed, it is He who was born, not least, for this to be vicariously borne! and He did it willingly (Psalm 40, in celestial exposition, shows His willingness, ardour in love for the task).
When He rules in Jerusalem, then "Jerusalem will dwell safely" - for then the nation, or a large part of it, and the Lord will be as once before, at peace. Indeed, in this New Covenant situation as in Jeremiah 31:31ff., the very name or essence of the basis of the city will be this:
"The Lord our Righteousness."
This is, as in Psalm 71:14-18, for there is no other source of divine righteousness, acceptable to God, for man, but that received as a gift; and this is to be given flatly and finally, perfectly and as a delightful donation, so ensuring the enduring status of the recipients in His presence, who changes the heart and the mind to go with the gift (as in Romans 5:17ff.). Here then is the Man, the Son of Man who will never lack (Jeremiah 33:17,21), whose is the Kingdom, whom even death could not control (as in Hosea 13:14).
These things thus expanded and assured have the signature of the God Almighty, the God of all flesh. The covenant, the one made with David concerning the Messiah to come, as to the flesh side, from his line, family, is assured in this as in all. Break the covenant of day and night, by which the Lord in part instituted the sovereign setting in astronomical terms for light for man on the earth, yes if you have power to do this, then the Covenant of the Lord with David concerning the Messiah and all His works may be broken (Jeremiah 33:19-21). Like sand will be multiplied the 'seed' of David, that is the Jewish people, and no doubt Gentile believers also, since the work in Israel only was too small for the Lord (Isaiah 42, 49).
Yet it certainly includes Israel, for it is to this nation most specifically that the prophet is speaking from the Lord, as those to experience the devastation of Jerusalem, its rebuilding and the final furores concerning 'Rachel' and the final restoration as one unit, from the dispersion, as also in Ezekiel 36-37. No other people or nation or grouping has this identification badge.
Thus for the text in Jeremiah 33:23ff. makes it clear that it is a two-family (Judah and Israel, for long two parts of the split nation of Israel) which is to find this result, and it comes in the face and in fact the very teeth of those who have "despised My people" and this "as if they should no more be a nation before them," such that they were walked over and gave their bodies for this, and were despised in their multi-partite chastisement. These historical realities pinpoint the meaning past equivocation; but they do not exclude those to be added.
In case however any quibble about who is meant, the text precedes, that if one could transmute His covenant with night and day (it is as deep as that, His commitment to Israel), then might they confront the Lord's divine intention to have appointed ones of David's descendants in place as authorities in the Kingdom, "for I will cause their captivities to return, and will have mercy on them."
Thus from the title deed of Jeremiah 32, to the multi-defined Israel with its historical captivities in view and descendants of David before our eyes, there is to be an Israel restored, exhumed, and of course, convicted of what they specifically and uniquely did in context (Zechariah 12), now converted, cleansed, changed, and therefore of the New Covenant. Thus all Israel is saved (Romans 11).
As such, its people, as many as are converted, will become a portion of the entire body of Christ in many nations; but this one, no, it will not be lost: NEVER! There is a divine barrier to that. It has astronomical preliminaries, not scribble with pen or pointer, to be breached before the Lord will suffer the nation of Jeremiah to be extinguished.
Try Hitler! Try Inquisition! Try Russia and pogroms! Try persecuting nations and you will not succeed, unless you have power to contravene God (Isaiah 14:27), not merely a forlorn but a futile hope. Many try; none succeed. Israel, it is still here, surrounded by swarms of interfering, ambitious bees and hostilities as long before, of many peoples who have no time for the God of creation and redemption (in whole or in part). It is still menaced. The END of all that, it is an unhappy one for the endless mis-motivated assailants of contemporary Israel. It is not yet converted but it is subject to promise. Some might be wise to 'lay off' for a while and let God do it His ways. It could save enormous losses.
You see, incidentally, the same kind of sequence in Ezekiel 36-37, where Israel lies scattered among the nations, to which its people have been dispersed for a special and specified cause, scorned, deserted, desolate, like bare bones; but then it is restored first as a people before conversion, and then finds its life with the Messiah*4 ... after all. As with David, it is better to find the tender mercies of the Lord, than to deal with men! (II Samuel 24:14).
So does the Lord show in the prophets what nothing can change, and what is well summed in much, in Romans 11.
See for example,
The Biblical Workman Ch. 1;
The Impregnable Tower Ch. 8 (potter);
Tender Times for Timely Truth Ch. 1;
Thy Word is Wonderful Ch. 2, *3;
The Secular, The Sacred and the Sublime Ch. 3.
See It Bubbles ... Ch. 10.
See Christ the Citadel ... Ch. 2.
See on Zechariah 14 and its surrounding chapters, The Impregnable Tower ... Ch. 8, as marked. The ImpregnableTower Ch. 7 deals with some of the earlier Chapters of this prophet.
On millenial pre-occupations of one kind or another, and their paring, refinement or the caution due, to make way for the actual teaching of the Bible, see Celestial Harmony for the Terrestrial Host Ch. 4. It is certainly easier to ignore it in one mode or another, but ease is for arm-chairs not biblical workmen; and again, it may be a relish convert it into a polemic for something else, but when it is taken as it is given, it both wholly comprehensible and a base for a divine motivation quite clearly expressed.
On the depth of biblical data in the
millenium, see Sparkling Life in Christ Jesus,
Ch. 10, which is reviewing chapter of Revelation and
other books, and showing both primary data and conclusion.
also Holocaust of Morality
Ch. 4, with work on Psalm 72.
*4 See SMR Appendix A.