Moreover the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the prison…. (Jeremiah 23:1-26)
Jeremiah was engulfed by the darkness of a dungeon. It suited the Stygian shadow on his soul—and that not just because of his own suffering, but what was coming upon Jerusalem. The lampstand inside the temple and the fires kindled on the altars were soon to be extinguished. Judah had chosen to walk away from God’s light and so the Lord gave them what they wanted.
Yet, into the midnight of the dungeon burst a ray of hope—God had a word for His prophet. The Psalmist declared, “The entrance of Your words gives light….” (Ps.119:130) God’s revelation brought that to his suffering servant.
God directed his man to look up. He was invited to call out to the Lord, who promises to show him unexpected and unimaginable things. Though the prophet’s body was in the pit, his spirit surely soared with encouragement!
This was not some positive-thinking, “look on the bright side of things,” which denied reality. It was dark and getting darker for the people of God. In His righteous anger, God would overthrow the city.
That condition, however, would not be a permanent one. The Lord promised to heal their backsliding. In a future day, He would liberate them from captivity. The Redeemer would cleanse and forgive the sin of God’s people.
The promise of future blessing was a light in the present darkness. The Jews would someday honor the Lord’s name instead of bringing reproach. Worship would resume in the house of God. The desolate places will become fruitful and the flocks and herds multiply. The promises of God will be kept. In Christ, they are yes and amen! Jesus will see to it when He returns to reign on the throne of David and takes universal dominion. Israel will be saved and sanctified. The king and the priest will serve in their positions. Nothing can halt the fulfillment of God’s intention. You may as well try to stop the world from turning on its axis as to expect God to abandon His covenant people. He promised Abraham that his progeny would be more numerous than the sands of the sea or the stars in the sky—and so it will be! The people were at the moment feeling the darkness of dread and despair. That reality will be transcended by the ultimate reality—the faithfulness of God will not fail.
Friend, are you in a dark dungeon of dismal circumstances today? Do not despair of hope, if you are a child of God. Take the Book and open it. You will find the light of truth breaking into the gloom. Call out to the Lord for those great and mighty things you think are impossible. Nothing is too hard for the Lord! Look to the promises of God. He cannot fail. He will not break His oath to you. Here is daylight in the dark!