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God answers those who call to Him

Columbia Biblical Studies: Wednesday, June 25
Columbia Biblical Studies: Wednesday, June 25
George Hodan

Today’s bible study is Jeremiah 33:2-3: Thus saith the Lord the maker thereof, the Lord that formed it, to establish it; the Lord is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

Here, once again, we are faced with at least two patterns of thought which seem to be very different and without an easily made connection. First we are told that the Lord formed it and that the Lord is his name. What did the Lord form? Is this passage speaking of the whole of creation or of one specific thing? And the name of the Lord…do we not already know that when we call him Lord?

Then we move on to God telling us that if we call to Him, he will show us mighty things that we do not know of. What are these mighty things? How will they be revealed to us?
Let us look for some historical background and themes which may add deeper and more meaningful content to this lesson. This chapter of Jeremiah is speaking to the forecast of reformation, and is actually the second part of the faith in restoration which began in previous chapters. Later, God invited Jeremiah’s prayer, which appeals to him to fulfill the aspects of His promise which He guarantees to keep. This theme is repeated again in Daniel and John. His answer to the prayer was repeatedly assured.

The main theme of Jeremiah is judgment upon Judah with future restoration in the messianic kingdom. Whereas Isaiah devoted many chapters to a future glory for Israel, Jeremiah gave far less space to this subject. Since God’s judgment was imminent, he concentrated on current problems as he sought to turn the nation back from the point of no return.

A secondary theme is God’s willingness to space and bless the nation only if the people repent. A further focus is God’s plan for Jeremiah’s life, both in his proclamation of God’s message and in his commitment to fulfill all of His will.

Other themes include God’s longing for Israel to be tender toward Him, as in the days of first love, Jeremiah’s servant tears as the weeping prophet, the close, intimate relationship God had with Israel and that He yearned to keep, suffering, as in Jeremiah’s trials, and God’s sufficiency in all trouble. Even more themes in Jeremiah include the vital role that God’s will can play in life, the place of faith in expecting restoration from the God for whom nothing is too difficult, and prayer for the coordination of God’s will with God’s action in restoring Israel to its land.

References: The People’s New Testament Commentary by M. Eugene Boring and Fred B. Craddock and The MacArthur Bible Commentary by John MacArthur.

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