Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jeremiah 48:47

Yet I will restore the fortunes of Moab in days to come.
This is a remarkable passage, situated, as it is, at the end of a chapter filled with vivid prophecy of disaster. God has reached the end of his patience with the idolatry, brutality and pride of Moab, and they are to be destroyed in a great cataclysm of war. Yet they will be restored. Evil though they have been, God will not annihilate them completely, but will mercifully restore them as a people.

But what of those who actually endure the warfare and destruction, who flee weeping from their burning cities, who fall to the ruthless sword of the invader - what of them? How can they who are dead benefit from a restoration that happens long years later? Indeed God's justice requires a resurrection, otherwise his promises of restoration are useless to those who hear them. Only in the hope of a resurrection can those who die look to the fulfillment of the great promises that God has made to heal and restore. The promises like these of the Old Testament find their fulfillment in the resurrection of Jesus as the first fruits of all who will rise at the end. Because Jesus rose from the dead, God will restore Moab, and all who are devastated by his judgment on sin.

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