Thursday after Exaudi
Scripture: Jeremiah 46:27-28 (NKJV)
46:27 “But do not fear, O My servant Jacob, and do not be dismayed, O Israel! For behold, I will save you from afar, and your offspring from the land of their captivity; Jacob shall return, have rest and be at ease; No one shall make him afraid.
28 Do not fear, O Jacob My servant,” says the Lord, “For I am with you; For I will make a complete end of all the nations to which I have driven you, but I will not make a complete end of you. I will rightly correct you, for I will not leave you wholly unpunished.”
There is another prophecy of Pentecost in today’s reading, or at least, a prophecy that was fulfilled in a most excellent way on the day of Pentecost.
Although Jeremiah’s prophetic ministry took place in the southern kingdom of Judah after the northern kingdom of Israel had already been exiled, he addresses the lost tribes of Israel throughout his book. In today’s short reading, the Lord speaks directly to the northern tribes living among the nations, far away from Jerusalem, the Temple, the priesthood, and the sacrifices for sin. He promises a future return to the House of God and rescue from their captivity.
He is speaking of a spiritual captivity, the captivity of sin. He is speaking of a spiritual return, not necessarily to the plot of land that lies to the east of the Mediterranean Sea, but to the family of God, to the spiritual rest that comes through faith in Christ, to the freedom from fear that comes from sins atoned for in Christ’s death and forgiven through Holy Baptism.
The spiritual return of some of the members of the scattered tribes of Israel began in a literal way on the day of Pentecost, when Jews who lived in the surrounding nations came to Jerusalem and heard the apostles speaking in their languages and declaring to them the wonderful works of God. They, in turn, took the Gospel back to the nations where they lived. Those who have believed the Gospel will be safe from the destruction that comes on the nations who have rejected it.
We pray: Heavenly Father, we thank You for mercifully sending out Your Gospel and for rescuing people from sin’s captivity through the Holy Ministry. Comfort us by Your Holy Spirit and keep us safe on the day when You judge the nations. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.