Jeremiah Devotions #13: “Do Not Fear!”
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah Chapters 45-48.
“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.” (Jeremiah 46:27).
In chapter 45, Jeremiah gives a personal prophecy to his scribe, Baruch. Then in chapters 46-48, Jeremiah goes on and prophesies judgment against Egypt, Philistia and Moab. Some people might wonder how these Scriptures are relevant to our lives in the 21st Century. In the first place, there are hundreds of prophecies that, when they were first spoken or written, concerned the future. Most of them have already been fulfilled, giving testimony to the veracity of the Scriptures. But secondly, these prophecies, though not personally directed towards us, can still offer us warnings against sin, and comfort in our distress.
In today’s verse, the Lord is speaking comfort to His people Israel and Judah in the midst of His judgment against the nations. He tells them not to fear or be dismayed. The Lord promises to His people: “I will save you. You will have rest and be at ease. No one will make you afraid.”
Do you know that the phrase “do not fear” appears 365 times in the Bible? That’s one time for every day of the year! If you are a Christian, you don’t have to fear – you can have an abiding peace and hope in your heart.
When it comes to claiming the promises of God, we need to determine whether or not the promise in the Bible is a specific promise that pertains only to one person or group of people, or whether it is a universal promise. In this passage, we see a promise that I believe applies to all of the covenant people of God. If you are a Christian – a believer in Jesus – then I believe the Lord has promised to give you peace, rest, and freedom from fear. Our response then should be to claim this promise, and receive it as a gift from Jesus.
Lord, we are living in troubled times. There are wars and rumours of wars, terrorism, economic crises, earthquakes and more that bombard us every day. But today we choose to receive your hope. We choose to “fear not!” Thank you for flooding our hearts and minds with the peace of God that passes all understanding as we trust in you. And help us to carry your hope and peace with us and share it with others. In Jesus’ name, amen.