Read Jeremiah 31:7-14
7 The Lord says,
“Sing with joy for Israel,
the greatest of the nations.
Sing your song of praise,
‘The Lord has saved hiso people;
he has rescued all who are left.’
8 I will bring them from the north
and gather them from the ends of the earth.
The blind and the lame will come with them,
pregnant women and those about to give birth.
They will come back a great nation.
9 My people will return weeping,
praying as I lead them back.
I will guide them to streams of water,
on a smooth road where they will not stumble.
I am like a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my eldest son.”
10 The Lord says,
“Nations, listen to me,
and proclaim my words on the far-off shores.
I scattered my people, but I will gather them
and guard them as a shepherd guards his flock.
11 I have set Israel’s people free
and have saved them from a mighty nation.
12 They will come and sing for joy on Mount Zion
and be delighted with my gifts—
gifts of corn and wine and olive oil,
gifts of sheep and cattle.
They will be like a well-watered garden;
they will have everything they need.
13 Then the young women will dance and be happy,
and men, young and old, will rejoice.
I will comfort them and turn their mourning into joy,
their sorrow into gladness.
14 I will fill the priests with the richest food
and satisfy all the needs of my people.
I, the Lord, have spoken.”
The prophet is bold enough to hope in a time when the people of Israel have been taken into exile in a foreign land. He firmly believes that God will eventually restore justice to the world. And his picture of justice is one of joyful exuberance!
Lord, help me to hear the hope, the laughter, the joy in this passage. And help me to believe in your desire for all your people to have joy and laughter. If you can use me to bring about that justice and joy, show me what I should do.
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