GOD NOT GIVING UP ISRAEL
Apparently God had given up Israel and would have nothing more to do with them. Actually God did not give up His people. He knew what He was doing with Israel, and He knew that He had a glorious goal to reach. Therefore, although He chastised them, He still had compassion on them. Both God and Jeremiah sympathized with the people of Israel in their suffering of God’s punishment (9:10-11, 17-19; 8:18-22; 9:1; 10:19-25). Knowing God’s sympathy toward Israel, Jeremiah could say, "It is Jehovah’s lovingkindness that we are not consumed, / For His compassions do not fail; / They are new every morning. / Great is Your faithfulness" (Lam. 3:22-23). In His lovingkindness and compassion, God preserved Israel, and Israel continued to exist. Furthermore, among His degraded elect who had been sent into exile, God had His overcomers such as Daniel and his companions.
In addition, Jeremiah prophesied concerning the coming restoration of Israel (23:3-8; 33:1-26). In this time of restoration, God will gather His dispersed and scattered people back to the holy land. Eventually, Jeremiah prophesied that Christ would come as the righteous Shoot (23:5-6).
CHRIST BEING THE ONLY ONE
WHO CAN FULFILL GOD’S ECONOMY
Jeremiah’s prophecy concerning Christ indicates that only Christ can fulfill God’s economy. Only Christ is the answer to God’s requirements in His economy. In fulfilling God’s economy, Christ is first our righteousness and then our redemption and our all-inclusive inner life. As our life supply, Christ is our food and drink.
All these aspects of Christ are fully developed in the New Testament. In particular, the New Testament reveals that Christ is our life (Col. 3:4). Christ’s being our Savior and Redeemer is for His being our life. As our life, Christ is everything to us. He is our food, our drink, our energy, our power, our capacity, our strength. In and through such a Christ, we become one with God in life, nature, image, and appearance.
What Christ is to us today He will be to Israel at the time of His coming back. At His coming back, Israel will repent and receive Christ (Zech. 12:10—13:1). They will receive Christ as their righteousness, redemption, and life, and they will drink of the fountain of living waters and eat of the tree of life. As a result, Israel too will be constituted with God and become one with God in life, nature, image, and appearance.
(Life-Study of Jeremiah and Lamentations, Chapter 12, by Witness Lee)