I do not share the idea that Biblical prophesy is boring. It is fascinating to uncover and unwind all the prophecies throughout the Bible and learn how intermingled and connected they all are. There’s not one bit of contradiction when they are all observed and studied side by side. Prophesy in the book of Jeremiah is no exception. Particularly, in chapter 23, we see prophesy of “a time” that is coming, or “that day” which is coming. If you are on par with my end times posts, then you should be able to recognize that this is language seen many times relating to the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord, as we have previously discussed, represents more than just a singular day as we understand. It is more likened to meaning “the time of the Lord”. Today is the day of man, whereas the Day of the Lord commences at the gathering together of His elect and the pouring out of his wrath upon the earth. Following these events brings upon the Millennial reign of Christ on earth, which still constitutes as the Day of the Lord. We can even see this concept displayed in 2 Peter 3:8, which says,
“Dear friends, don’t let this one thing escape you: With the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years is like one day.”
And that brings us to Jeremiah 23, where we can see direct reflections to other passages concerning the Millennial reign of Christ. That is why I call it, “the gem in Jeremiah. Chapter 23:1-8 says,
“What sorrow awaits the leaders of my people – the shepherds of my sheep – for they have destroyed and scattered the very ones they were expected to care for,” says the Lord. Therefore, this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds: “instead of caring for my flock and leading them to safety, you have deserted them and driven them to destruction. Now I will pour out judgment on you for the evil you have done to them. But I will gather together a remnant of my flock from the countries where I have driven them. I will bring them back to their own sheepfold, and they will be fruitful and increase in number. Then I will appoint responsible shepherds who will care for them, and they will never be afraid again. Not a single one will be lost or missing. I, the Lord have spoken! “For the time is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will raise up a righteous descendent from King David’s line. He will be a king who rules with wisdom. He will do what is just and right throughout the land. And this will be his name: The Lord is our Righteousness. In that day Judah will be saved, and Israel will live in safety. “In that day”, says the Lord, “when people are taking an oath, they will no longer say, ‘as surely as the Lord lives, who rescued the people of Israel from the land of Egypt.’ Instead, they will say, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, who brought the people of Israel back to their own land from the land of the north and from all the countries to which he had exiled them.’ Then they will live in their own land.
There are three main points that I believe this passage breathes out:
- The scattered people of Israel will be gathered
- Appointed shepherds will care for them
- A righteous King in the line of David will rise up and rule over them
The scattered people of Israel will be gathered
To start out, Jeremiah is critical of the leaders of Israel at his time. He says, “instead of caring for my flock and leading them to safety, you (the leaders) have deserted them and driven them to destruction.” Jeremiah is making note of the fact that Israel’s leaders have driven the people away and scattered them. This prophesy is a reminder of the covenant God had already made with the people of Israel to return them to their land. In Deuteronomy 30:3-5 says,
“Then the Lord your God will restore you from captivity, and have compassion on you, and will gather you again from all the peoples where the Lord your God has scattered you. If your outcasts are at the ends of the earth, from there the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring you back. The Lord your God will bring you into the land which your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it; and He will prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers.”
As we can see, this is not new news. This is not a brand new prophesy, but a repeated prophesy on the basis of God’s promise to the people of Israel to return them back to their land. But what this prophesy does do for us is incorporate other elements to serve as evidence that the return of scattered Israel is connected to the future Millennial reign of Christ. In other words, this covenant/promise will be fulfilled when Christ establishes his Millennial Kingdom here on earth. How do we know this? Let’s go to point number 2.
Appointed shepherds will care for them
Jeremiah states that this remnant of Israel to be gathered will be given responsible shepherds to care for them and watch over them. Who are these responsible shepherds? The answer is seen clearly in Revelation 20:4. It says,
“Then I saw thrones, and the people sitting on them had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their testimony about Jesus and for proclaiming the Word of God. They had not worshipped the beast or his statue, nor accepted his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They all came to life again, and they reigned with Christ for a thousand years.”
These responsible shepherds are believers in Christ who return with Him in glory at the battle of Armageddon. These responsible shepherds are those who have been raised incorruptible to rule with Christ for 1000 years over the remnant of Israel and those who survived the wrath of God poured out on the world. (Zechariah 14:16) This is undeniable. But if that’s not undeniable enough, the last point really seals the deal as to what the prophecy given to Jeremiah is referring to.
A righteous King in the line of David will rise up and rule over them
Who is this King?
Jesus Christ, descendant of David, Lord over all, King above all Kings. The Lord is our righteousness. A king who rules with wisdom and justice. That Day, Israel will be saved and will live in safety for 1000 years in their homeland – Just as promised.
There isn’t much more explaining needed here. I pray that you see what God is trying to tell us through his Word here as we get closer and closer to his return! God Bless!