We have a feast of thought provoking passages today! First, David returns to Jerusalem and shows a spirit of mercy to those who followed Absalom, an example all followers of Christ should develop. Second, we have a remarkable latter-day prophecy in Jeremiah 23. God tells him, “I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold and they shall be fruitful …” (verse 3). Then after expressing anger at their attitudes because “ungodliness has gone out into all the land” (verse 15), God again extends the vision of His purpose far beyond the prophet’s day. God’s message is, “Behold, the storm of the LORD … a whirling tempest; it will burst upon the head of the wicked. The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly” (verses 19,20).
Do we understand it clearly? The more we read God’s word the clearer becomes our understanding. Romans 11 is a great help; verse 25 is a particular challenge! “Lest you be wise in your own conceits”, writes Paul, “I want you to understand this mystery brothers, a partial hardening has come upon Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in”. The final ingathering among the Gentiles around the world appears have reached its “fullness”. And then, says Paul, quoting Isaiah 59:20,21, “The deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob; and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins”.
One day, maybe very soon, God will renew His covenant with His nation, now miraculously re-established in Holy Land. In his book Rebirth and Destiny of Israel, it is clear David Ben Gurion, the first Prime Minister of Israel, is familiar with the Old Testament. “The book is our whole language. No commentator unravelled the chapters of Joshua as did our Army’s epic deeds … sprout seeds which will be a living revelation of many words of Hosea, Micah and Isaiah …” (page 433). “Our prophets inveigh passionately against violence … when your judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness” (page 473).
When Christ comes the Jews will finally recognise their true Messiah; they will “look on … him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn”. But God says, “I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace” (Zechariah 12:10). We live “in the latter days” and “the storm of the LORD” is about “to burst on the head of the wicked”. Let us look earnestly for the coming of our Lord – and ‘Watch Israel’.