To get a good understanding of this verse, let’s read Jeremiah 33:1-3, “Moreover the word of the LORD came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison, saying, Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

To learn about the reason for Jeremiah’s imprisonment, let’s read Jeremiah 32:2-3, “For then the king of Babylon’s army besieged Jerusalem: and Jeremiah the prophet was shut up in the court of the prison, which was in the king of Judah’s house. For Zedekiah king of Judah had shut him up, saying, Wherefore dost thou prophesy, and say, Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will give this city into the hand of the king of Babylon, and he shall take it.”  We see that when Babylon captured Jerusalem that they also imprisoned their prophet.  This reminds us of another great servant of the Lord who seemed to stay in prison more than he was out of prison…the Apostle Paul.  He wrote in 2 Timothy 2:9, “Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.”  Although Paul was bound, the Word of God was not bound.  The same is true of the Prophet Jeremiah.  Although he was locked in prison, the Lord still used him to encourage His people.

Jeremiah has a wonderful word from the Lord to His people.  Even though they had sinned greatly against the Lord, He promised them that if they would simply call out to Him, He would answer them and show them great and mighty things.  If these erring people would simply turn from their ways and call out to the Lord in repentance and confession, they He would free them from their captors.  We continue to read of the blessings of the Lord in Jeremiah 33:6-8, “Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.”  What power there is in a contrite heart, one that humbles himself, repents of his sins, and confesses his sins to the Lord.  The Lord promises His people complete restoration if they would only repent and call out to Him.

More importantly, the Lord promises in Jeremiah 33:15, “In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David; and he shall execute judgment and righteousness in the land.”  This is the promise of the coming Messiah who will be born through David’s lineage and will execute righteousness and righteousness among the Lord’s people.

As is often the case in scripture, part of this promise has been fulfilled while part of it is still waiting to be fulfilled.  What do these verses have to do with us?  First, we see the Lord’s patient and loving dealings with His earthly people, the Israelites.  Also, we learn practical lessons for ourselves in these verses.  Let’s read 1 John 1:9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”  This verse is not instruction for salvation.  This is written to the believer in Christ.  The Lord encourages us to confess our sins to the Lord.  Each time we sin, we need to confess that to the Lord immediately.  It is ongoing sin in our lives that will distance us from our dear savior.  When we do confess, the Lord promises to forgive us of our sins, and not only that, He promises to cleanse us from the effect of unrighteous acts in our lives.  What a precious promise for us today!  There is forgiveness, cleansing, and restoration from the Lord when we, with a repentant heart, confess our sins to the Lord.  When we do that, the Lord, “will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”  (198.6)