I. THE DARK DAYS THAT LIE AHEAD FOR JUDAH.
A. The Lord spoke to Jeremiah saying, "Call on Me and I will show you great and mighty things, that you do not know."
1. The things that God was going to show him were the future of Jerusalem and it's inhabitants.
2. The kings palace was going to be destroyed.
3. Their resistance against Babylon was going to be futile, for they were to be slain.
4. God was going to hide His face from them.
B. God never ends the story of His people in darkness and despair.
1. The final chapter is always glorious and exciting.
2. I can walk without fear through the valley of the shadow of death as long as I know that my Father's house is at the end of the path.
II. THE GLORIOUS FUTURE THAT GOD HAD PLANNED FOR THEM.
A. God is going to cure them and heal them, and bring them an abundance of peace.
1. They had been sick for a long time.
a. Sin is a real sickness.
b. If you are living in sin, you are sick.
c. Their sickness seemed to be incurable.
d. It is a sickness like AIDS which is always fatal. "The wages of sin is death."
2. They had a history of wars and strife, but God was going to give them and abundance of peace, in His day.
B. God was going to bring the Jews back into the land and He was going to build them as at the beginning of their history.
1. God will cleanse them from their iniquities.
a. Sin clings like grimy dirt to a persons life.
b. God wants to cleanse a person from their sin.
c. David said, "Wash me and I shall be clean." He recognized that he could not wash himself. Just as you cannot wash the sins from your life, it takes the blood of Jesus Christ.
2. God was going to pardon their iniquities.
a. Sin is against God so only God can pardon sin.
b. Our sins can have a harmful effect on others as David's sin effected both Bathsheba with whom he had an adulterous affair, and her husband who he had killed, but when he sought the forgiveness from God, he said, "Against You and You only have I sinned and done this great evil in your sight."
C. The city of Jerusalem would be a name of joy, honor and praise before the nations.
1. The name had become a disgrace, it was not the city of God, but filled with wickedness and violence.
2. Like San Francisco the name of the city is associated with evil and not with the beauty of it's natural setting.
3. God was going to bring to the city, goodness and prosperity that would have the whole world in awe.
a. Even as those who passed by marveled at the total devastation and destruction, so will they marvel and the prosperity that God will bring to the city.
4. Though the once proud city is now destroyed and is shrouded with an eerie silence, yet again will the voices of joy and gladness ring forth from the streets.
5. The people will be saying, "Praise Jehovah of Hosts, for the Lord is Good."
6. They will be offering the sacrifice of praise unto God in the house of the Jehovah.
7. God promised that the days would come when He would do these things.
a. Those days have not yet come, but are still future.
b. They did not come when they returned from the Babylonian captivity.
c. They have not come with the Zionist movement of our day, but are still future.
III. THE DAY OF THE MESSIAH.
A. In those days, the Branch of Righteousness will grow up unto David.
1. That Branch of Righteousness is a reference unto the Messiah, the descendant of David that shall rule on the throne of David forever.
a. Through Him, the promise of God to David will be fulfilled, that there shall never cease a man to sit upon the throne from the house of David.
b. Who is that Branch of Righteousness from the seed of David? Non other than Jesus Christ.
c. He will execute judgment and righteousness in the land.
B. In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem shall dwell safely.
1. Jerusalem shall be called, "Jehovah, our righteousness." Earlier in chapter 23 we are told that the name of the Messiah shall be "JEH0VAH OUR RIGHTEOUSNESS" Now the city upon whose inhabitants have received that righteousness shall be known by that same name.
2. The Lord shall reign, and the people will worship him. The kingdoms of this earth will become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Messiah, and He shall reign forever and ever.
C. This is a covenant or promise that God made with David that cannot be broken.
1. The only way you could break this covenant is to stop the son and the moon from shining.
2. This covenant surely was a sign of God's grace to David, it was made at a time when God had some disappointing words for David.
a. David's desire to build a glorious house for the Lord.
b. The initial encouragement of the prophet Nathan.
c. God promised David that He would build him a house.
D. God has made a covenant with each of us that cannot be broken.
1. When Jesus took the cup at the Passover feast with His disciples, He said, "This cup is a new covenant in My blood which is shed for the remission of sins.
2. God has made a covenant with you through Jesus Christ which basically is that if you will just receive Jesus as your Savior and submit your life to His lordship, He will cleanse you from your iniquity, make you His child, and allow you to share His glory in the Kingdom that is to come to the earth.
3. This covenant that God has made with us is just as sure as the one made with David. It will not be broken.