I would encourage you to read this comforting chapter which deals with the final restoration of Israel when God will bring all of His people back to the land and bless them by His grace. This chapter has two major divisions. We will consider them, using the New American Standard Bible.

  1. The RETURN of Israel (verses 1-30). Verse 1 declares, “At that time, declares the LORD, I will be the God of all the families of Israel.” When it says, “at that time,” it is speaking of when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to set up His kingdom. Verse 8 says, “Behold, I am bringing them from the North Country, and I will gather them from the remote parts of the earth.” The nation of Israel has been scattered throughout the world for centuries, but God will bring them back home and they’ll never leave again! Verse 10 also states, “Hear the word of the LORD, O nations, and declare in the coastlands afar off, and say, ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him and keep him as a shepherd keeps his flock’.” God’s call to the nations will signal their return and He will actually use the nations to bring them safely to their homeland. We read of this in Isaiah 60:9, “Surely the coastlands will wait for Me; and the ships of Tarshish will come first, to bring your sons from afar.” Isaiah 66:19-20 also reads, “I will set a sign among them and will send survivors from them to the nations…to the distant coastlands…then they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as a grain offering to the LORD.”   God will also employ His holy angels in this wonderful restoration of His people. We see this in Matthew 24:30-31: “And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. And He will send forth His angels with a great trumpet and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”
  1. The REGENERATION of Israel and Judah (verses 31-40). The nation that has rebelled against God for so long and were divided into two nations will experience God’s forgiveness and a spiritual regeneration. We read of this blessing in verses 31-34: “Behold, days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them, declares the LORD. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD, I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, know the LORD, for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, declares the LORD, for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Many have taught that God has cast away His people Israel forever, but these verses show us that they will not only be brought back to the land of Israel, but they will be new hearts and all will “know the LORD.” How will God accomplish this? Through the “new covenant” of grace! They had broken the “old covenant” of Law, but they will be made to see what their Messiah, the Lord Jesus Christ, had done for them on the cross. They will finally own the truth of Isaiah 53:5: “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.” In a word, they will see that God has forgiven them of all their iniquities through Christ’s death and the blood He shed on Calvary. They will be healed of their malady of sin and will be a new creation in Christ. I had said earlier that their restoration to the land will be permanent and this is beautifully expressed in verses 35-36, “Thus says the Lord, Who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; The LORD of hosts is His name: If this fixed order departs from before Me, declares the LORD, Then the offspring of Israel also will cease from being a nation before Me forever.” Their eternal blessing is assured; it is as secure as the fixed order of God’s heavenly creation! (213.9)  (DO)