“It will be a time of trouble for my people Israel. Yet in the end they will be saved! For in that day,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will break the yoke from their necks and snap their chains. Foreigners will no longer be their masters. For my people will serve the Lord their God and their king descended from David—the king I will raise up for them . . .”
This is what the Lord says: “Your injury is incurable—a terrible wound. There is no one to help you or to bind up your injury. No medicine can heal you. All your lovers—your allies—have left you and do not care about you anymore. I have wounded you cruelly, as though I were your enemy. For your sins are many, and your guilt is great. Why do you protest your punishment—this wound that has no cure? I have had to punish you because your sins are many and your guilt is great.
“But all who devour you will be devoured, and all your enemies will be sent into exile. All who plunder you will be plundered, and all who attack you will be attacked. I will give you back your health and heal your wounds,” says the Lord. “For you are called an outcast—‘Jerusalem for whom no one cares.’”
(Jeremiah 30:7-9, 12-17)
Like Isaiah, Jeremiah associated events of the near future and those of the distant future. Reading these prophecies is like looking at several mountain peaks in a range. From a distance they look as though they are next to each other, when actually they are miles apart. Jeremiah presents near and distant events as if they will all happen soon. He sees the Exile, but he sees also the future day when Christ will reign forever. The reference to “the king” is not to King David, but to his famous descendant, the Messiah (Luke 1:69).
The medical language in Jeremiah 30 conveys the idea that sin is terminal. It cannot be cured by acting “good.” It requires attention from the Great Physician. Yet, as with medical ailments, sometimes people focus on the symptoms instead of getting to the heart of the matter: fear, doubt, anger—whatever causes you to feel estranged from God. Beware of putting your confidence in useless “cures” (buying a new “toy”; throwing yourself into a relationship) while ignoring the pain. God alone can cure the disease of sin, but you must be willing to let him do it.