Daryel O’Barr, pastor/evangelist
We are not righteous in and of ourselves. Our righteousness comes from God and God alone.
Jesus imputes His righteousness into us so that we can see God. For you see, Hebrews 12:14 says that without holiness, no man will see God. Second Corinthians 5:21 says, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Isn’t that terrific? You see, if you are a child of God, you are holy. Are you feeling that you can’t live the Christian life? That’s right where you need to be. You see, God never asked you to live the Christian life apart from Him. He wants to be your strength; He wants to live the Christian life through you and do for you what you could never do for yourself.
The prophet Jeremiah had been imprisoned by King Zedekiah (v. 1). The armies of Babylon, were advancing on Jerusalem. The streets of Jerusalem would soon be filled with the corpses of her people (vs. 4-5).
Jeremiah’s prophecies of judgment that put him in prison were coming true. Yet, in the midst of catastrophe Jeremiah spoke words of hope. He spoke of a restoration, which included the line of king David.
A tragedy of the Babylonian Exile was the end of the Davidic dynasty. For nearly 400 years, descendants of David had occupied the throne of Judah. God promised that David’s house and kingdom would endure before Him forever (2 Samuel 7:16). But the Babylonians would destroy David’s city, burn Solomon’s temple, and take David’s heirs into exile.
So, to a people soon to be devastated by loss, Jeremiah’s prophecy offered hope. God was still faithful. The house of David might be cut down, but God can bring life out of death. A branch would sprout. God would send the Messiah.
This passage teaches some important lessons for us to make note of as the people of God today. Because there will be times in our lives when we will be tempted to believe that God has forgotten and forsaken us. In this prophecy, the Lord was seeking to remind the people of three important truths.
God will fulfill His purposes and promises. “Behold the days are coming, says the Lord, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised…” (v. 14).
God’s timing is always right. “In those days I will grow David as a Branch of righteousness in the earth” (v. 15).
God gives us what we want by addressing what we need. “In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell safely. And this is the name by which she will be called: THE LORD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS” (v. 16).
The same is true for us today. Everyone in the human race wants a life that is fulfilling, a life that is joyous and complete. But that which we want will never be ours until we recognize what we need – a personal love relationship with our creator that has been provided through the sacrifice of the Messiah. Ironically, the people were using the promise of the Davidic dynasty as excuse to pursue what they wanted by looking everywhere but to God.
God allowed the people to be taken into captivity as means of discipline. Because He loved them and wanted them to realize that what they were looking for was not to be found in their idols, but only in their love relationship with the true God.
Likewise, God will sometimes allow us to go through difficult times in the effort to awaken us to idolatry in our lives. He wants us to look to Him in the midst of our disappointment with our circumstances in order to realize afresh that all we could ever need is found in Him.