We’ve seen that God compared Israel’s sin to Judah’s in Jeremiah 3. Based on that comparison God was moved to offer forgiveness to Israel if they repented. And if Israel were to repent, God promises blessings for them in Jeremiah 3:14-18, which is what we’ll study in this post.
Restoration to the Land
The first blessing in Jeremiah 3:14 is that God will restore Israel to the land if they repent.
Next in Jeremiah 3:15 God will give repentant Israel godly leaders.
The Lord will also increase repentant Israel’s population (Jeremiah 3:16) – which God definitely views as a blessing – contrary to the current mindset of the age, where population control is an agenda of the world elite.
No More Longing for the Ark
Another blessing that God promises Israel in Jeremiah 3:16 if they repent is that they won’t remember the ark of the covenant anymore.
But the question is why will Israel no longer think about the ark of the covenant?
(By the way – the ark was still probably in the temple at this time.)
If you put yourself in the shoes of an Israelite of that day I think you’d be asking that same question. Why would God be listing the fact that we’ll forget about the ark of the covenant as one of the blessings he’s holding out for our repenting?
Here’s my best attempt at answering why the Lord mentions this here. Could it be that he’s dropping the first hint in this book of the new covenant that he will later promise Israel and Judah in Jeremiah 31?
After all, if you have a box – or ark – in which you keep a covenant – and then that covenant has been superseded by another covenant – who’s going to remember that old covenant – let alone the box that contains it?
When Israel returns to the land in true repentance then they’ll be under the new covenant. And this means that the promises we’re reading about here have not yet come to pass. But they surely will – when (it’s conditional) Israel turns to the Lord with all their heart and receives their Messiah, Jesus our Lord.
So, why is Israel forgetting about the ark of the covenant a blessing? Because they’ll have a better covenant — a New Covenant!
Jerusalem the Seat of God’s Kingdom
When all of that takes place – Israel has repented, the new covenant has been enacted so that they practically forget about the old one – here’s another – Jerusalem will be the seat of God’s kingdom on earth (Jeremiah 3:17).
Jerusalem a Center of Worship for the Nations
Jerusalem will be a center of worship for – not just the nation of Israel or the nation of Judah – but all the nations (Jeremiah 3:17)!
The Nations Changed
And these nations will have changed hearts. Hearts that are submitted to the Lord (Jeremiah 3:17).
Life from the Dead!
And again, all of this is predicated upon Israel repenting. Can you see why Paul says in Romans 11:15 that if the Jews’ rejecting God and being rejected by God is the reconciliation of the world – and it has been. Right? To use the analogy there in Romans 11 – Jews have been broken off as branches from the cultivated olive tree. And we Gentiles have been grafted in in place of them. That’s reconciliation.
If their rejection is reconciliation for the world, then what will it be like when they are accepted? Paul says it will be no less than life from the dead!
When Israel truly repents, not only they – but all the nations of this world – will experience these wonderful blessings!
Judah and Israel Reunited
And the last blessing held out for Israel’s repentance is their reuniting with Judah and the restoration of that reunified nation to the land which God has promised them in Jeremiah 3:18.
God says that Israel and Judah will come back from the north country. That’s more than a little foreboding even while it’s encouraging. Why? Because Jeremiah 3:18 states that Judah will be brought back from the land of the north. In other words, Judah will be sent away into exile just like Israel.
So, we just witnessed in Jeremiah 3:14-18 God’s promised blessings for Israel. The only condition for receiving those blessings is that they repent – that they turn back to God.
So, then in Jeremiah 3:19-25 God gives what I can best describe as a model of repentance to help Israel and Judah know what he’s looking for.