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Because God is perfectly righteous, in the face of continued rebellion, He must bring judgment. Even so, His heart is always oriented toward forgiveness and restoration, even in the midst of judgment, “ ‘Do I have any pleasure at all that the wicked should die?’ says the Lord GOD, ‘and not that he should turn from his ways and live?’ ” (Ezekiel 18:23). In the midst of judgment, God always preserves a faithful remnant which serves at least three functions: (1) fulfilling His promise never to terminate the nation of Israel and the throne of David (Ps. 89:35-37; Jer. 31:35-37; 33:20-26 cf. Rev. 12:1+); (2) preserving a line of promise which finds fulfillment in the future Millennial Kingdom (e.g., Mat. 19:28); (3) faithfully carrying forward the message of God to future generations (Ps. 102:18; 145:4; John 17:20; 20:29). As Paul did in his day, Jeremiah communicated God’s promise to preserve a faithful remnant (Jer. 44:28 cf. Rom. 9:27; 11:5). It is no surprise then, to find some of the most important passages related to the New Covenant among the words given by Jeremiah during this period (Jer. 31:31-40; 32:40). The passages which attest to God’s intention to preserve and restore Israel through the judgment of the captivity are manifold.1 Perhaps the most beautiful restoration passage in all of Scripture was given through Jeremiah to Israel in the context of the Babylonian Captivity:

For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. (Jeremiah 29:10-12)

This restorative purpose of God is a demonstration of His divine love and a theme found very early on in Scripture.2 Some of the restoration passages given at the time of the impending Babylonian Captivity go beyond the near historical setting and ultimately find their fulfillment at the second coming of Christ and the Millennial Kingdom to follow (Rev. 20+).


1 Concerning the preservation and restoration of Israel: Jer. 3:12, 22; 4:1-3, 14, 27; 5:10, 18; 12:14-15; 16:14-15; 18:7-8; 23:3-8; 24:6-7; 27:22; 29:14; 30:3, 10-11, 17-24; 31:2-14, 16-17, 23-28; 32:15, 37-44; 33:6-25; 42:10-12; 44:28; 46:27-28; 50:19-20; Eze. 4:3; 6:8; 7:16; 9:8; 11:13, 16-20; 12:16; 14:22-23; 16:60-63; 17:22-24; 20:33-38, 40-44; 34:11-16, 22-31; 36:4-15, 24-38; 37:1-28.

2 “Take the revelation in Gen. 3—that the Seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head. When was it given? Not when Adam walked sinlessly, but after he and his wife were fallen. Then God appears, and His word not only judged the serpent, but took the form of promise to be realized in the true Seed—certainly a blessed disclosure of the future, on which the hope of those who believed rested. It was the condemnation of their actual state. It did not allow the faithful who followed to sink into despair, but on the part of God, presented above the ruin an object to which their hearts became attached.”—William Kelly, Lectures on the Book of Daniel (3rd. ed.) (Richardson, TX: Galaxie Software, 1881, 2004), 8.

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