Jeremiah 31 provides us with a sequel to yesterday’s thoughts about God’s reaction to the time when the all nations, at the climax of human history, regard Israel as “outcasts … for whom no one care”. It is of the highest interest because the attitudes today fit this picture.

This follows on from the final verse of Jeremiah 30, “The fierce anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intentions of his mind. In the latter days you will understand this … At that time, declares the LORD. I will be the God of all the clans of Israel, and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 30:24; 31:1 – they are consecutive verses).

Jeremiah 31:7 reads, “… raise shouts for the chief of the nations; proclaim, give praise, and say, O LORD, save your people, the remnant of Israel”. The meaning is not totally clear, but it implies there is a time when leading nations learn the reality of God’s existence “and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth” (Jeremiah 31:8). We know that half of the Jews still live in other lands, and that the land promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is a great deal more than Israel possesses at present.

This spirit is opposite to what many nations are saying today. As we read on, these words jumped out at us. “Behold the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah (all 12 tribes) … this is the covenant I will make … after those days, declares the LORD, I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. I will be their God and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:31-33).

This climax of human history also brings the return of Jesus to earth and the resurrection. These events are the trigger for these verses to be fulfilled.