Audio Worship 9/17/2023 "Full Restoration" Jeremiah 33.1-16

Princeton Presbyterian Church Sermon # 1605

September 17, 2023

Jeremiah 33.1-16     Click here for audio worship.

Dr. Ed Pettus


"Full Restoration"


The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah a second time, while he was still shut up in the court of the guard: 2“Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it—the Lord is his name: 3Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known. 4For thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah that were torn down to make a defense against the siege mounds and against the sword: 5They are coming in to fight against the Chaldeans and to fill them with the dead bodies of men whom I shall strike down in my anger and my wrath, for I have hidden my face from this city because of all their evil.

6Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal to them abundance of prosperity and security. 7I will restore the fortunes of Judah and the fortunes of Israel, and rebuild them as they were at first. 8I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive all the guilt of their sin and rebellion against me. 9And this city shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and a glory before all the nations of the earth who shall hear of all the good that I do for them. They shall fear and tremble because of all the good and all the prosperity I provide for it. 10“Thus says the Lord: In this place of which you say, ‘It is a waste without man or beast,’ in the cities of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem that are desolate, without man or inhabitant or beast, there shall be heard again 11the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the voices of those who sing, as they bring thank offerings to the house of the Lord: “‘Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!’ For I will restore the fortunes of the land as at first, says the Lord. 12“Thus says the Lord of hosts: In this place that is waste, without man or beast, and in all of its cities, there shall again be habitations of shepherds resting their flocks. 13In the cities of the hill country, in the cities of the Shephelah, and in the cities of the Negeb, in the land of Benjamin, the places about Jerusalem, and in the cities of Judah, flocks shall again pass under the hands of the one who counts them, says the Lord. 14“Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. 15In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David, and he shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 16In those days Judah will be saved, and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’


  • The Lord is His Name


The first thing we might notice is that Jeremiah is in prison. He is shut up in the court of the guard. We might think that being in such a place would bring words of distress or complaint. But what follows are the words, in the midst of this current incarceration, words of hope and restoration. This seems to be a common theme among those who are tossed in jail for their faith. Jeremiah, John the Baptist, to Paul, to even more modern situations like our missionary who was jailed in Turkey and yet held out in hope. Prison echoes the situation for Israel and Jerusalem as they have been in the wilderness of exile, confined to the desert, and the city under siege, ruled by a foreign power.

We might recall the passage in Jeremiah 5 when the prophet is told to go throughout the city and through the vineyards and try to find anyone who does justice or seeks truth. When none are found the indictment is rendered and yet the indictment includes a promise from God, “I will not make a full end of you” (5.18). The point of noticing Jeremiah’s situation and Israel’s predicament, is that no matter what situation we find ourselves, with God there is always reason for hope. When trouble plagues us, we have hope. When our bodies fail us, we have hope. When our culture slides down the slippery slope of evil, we have hope. That hope is in the One who speaks judgment, truth, and speaks things into existence that do not exist. We have hope that something new can be spoken into our illness, a fresh word into our culture, or a proclamation of hope in the midst of depression.

The Word spoken is from God the Creator. It is the very Word of God that spoke everything into existence. Creation is revealed here as the foundation of authority in this prophetic Word – the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it. No other god creates. No other god made the earth or formed it or established it. There is no god like our God. This same God who is the Creator will also answer when the people call to Him. God will answer with the revelation of restoration. God answers with deliverance. God speaks salvation into the world. God is the One who will do it. No one else, no other god. Our God – powerful, mighty, creative, loving, healing, righteous, and forgiving. God takes the initiative and action to make things right.

The Lord is His name. Yahweh or Jehovah. I Am who I Am. There is power in the name! What has been seen has been the plucking up and breaking down, as verse 4 states, the houses of this city and the houses of the kings of Judah that were torn down. The destruction has been the result of Israel’s evil (vs 5) but now something new is being revealed. Good News in the midst of exile. That good news is full restoration.


  • The Lord Will Restore


The Lord will restore His people, His land, and His city! It is the Lord who will do it. Notice all the “I will” statements in the text.

3Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things...

6Behold, I will bring to it health and healing, and I will heal them and reveal

7I will restore...and rebuild

8I will cleanse them from all the guilt of their sin against me, and I will forgive

11 - For I will restore

14-15“Behold...I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah...I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up...


This is what God Himself will do. It is not the actions of Israel, not the actions of any other agent, only God will do these things. God will do these things because only God CAN do these things. No other gods can answer, heal, cleanse, or restore. Only Yahweh. Only the Lord. This is no small matter. Once we recognize and confess what God will do and what God has done and what God can do, we begin to know God better, deeper, understanding more and understanding why it is proper and necessary that we give thanks to God. It is appropriate to worship this God, to thank the God of the Bible, to follow Jesus Christ the Son of God, and to trust the Holy Spirit.


Look at the power of prayer in verse 3 – “Call to Me”, says the Lord. That is, pray! Call out His name, call in thanks and adoration and intercession and all the ways we might call on the Lord. Even things we perceive as negative – lament, complaint, anger, when it is in calling out to God, it is still praying to the right One! Call to God. And what is the result? God will answer and God will tell of great things. God reveals Himself to us in prayer. God reveals hidden things in prayer. But we have to go to God in prayer, to speak, to listen, to expect God to respond in some way.

We could look to the other verses here in detail but just to sum up a few of them...6 deals with healing; 8 with forgiveness and cleansing; 14-15 with promise keeping and a future Messiah. But I want us to see the one word that is repeated in verses 7 and 11, I will restore the fortunes. In particular the fortunes are about buildings and land. Dwelling places and property. But it is also about prosperity and security. All these things will be restored. These are the symbols used here to speak of restoration and it will be a full restoration. Remember, Israel has sinned against God in a multitude of ways, and yet God promises to forgive and to restore. It is not by accident that Jeremiah is given a term twice repeated. I will restore, says the Lord. Restoration sometimes seems impossible, especially in this case when Jerusalem is destroyed and people taken into captivity or scattered all over the surrounding lands. But this is the God who speaks things into existence. This is the God who loves more deeply than we can imagine, in both the Old Testament and the New. This is the God who seeks to right what we have wronged, to restore what we have destroyed, to reconcile us to Himself.

This is the theological mentality we must take into all our life and all our life in church, in the community, into our families, with friends, every aspect of life. Going into the world with the knowledge that God is the God who can and will fully restore all things. Most churches our size worry about numbers whether it is membership or finances or some other concern for the future of the church. But what if our faithfulness trusted that God restores all things. God will provide. God will make a future that we may not be able to see ourselves. Such a faith mindset provides opportunities to see new things coming, new things expected, and all things restored.



  • Give Thanks to the Lord


The result of what God has done and will do is thanksgiving. Verse 11 - Give thanks to the Lord of hosts, for the Lord is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!’ This verse is the opening verse of Psalm 107 which is basically a Psalm about how God restores people. Psalm 107 reveals God restoring those spiritually hungry. Another group He restores are those who walk in darkness. He restores sinners. He restores those in the midst of any storm. At the core is giving thanks to the Lord because of His goodness and His steadfast love. Gratitude to the Lord is crucial to the Christian life because it is a form of praise to God, but it also demonstrates that we know we are not the ones who do all these things. God does. God gets the credit. God gets the thanks. God gets the praise.



  • The Lord is Our Righteousness


The last phrase in our reading for today is: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’ The Lord is our righteousness because He makes all things right. He sets us right with Himself through Jesus, the righteous branch sprung up from David. He sets right what has been broken by Israel and what has been broken in the human person through sin since Adam and Eve. He sets right our hopes and dreams through the obedience of Jesus Christ who was willing to become the ultimate sacrifice for our sins.

From that righteousness we are called to live in thankful obedience for all that God has done to make all things right. He is our righteousness because we cannot be righteous without Him. What has happened in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ is that He took our sins upon Himself to restore us to God in God’s righteousness and in turn we ourselves become the righteousness of God. Let’s look at 2 Corinthians 5.21, “For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” Jesus, who knew no sin, never sinned, lived perfectly righteous before God, He became the perfect sacrifice for our sins. On the cross he took our sin, washed it all away, so that we might become the righteousness of God. You and I are only restored by what Jesus has done in obedience to God the Father. We are only deemed righteous by what Jesus has done by God’s command. In Jesus Christ we are fully restored.

Jeremiah’s prophecy for Israel is also the prophecy of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the branch, verse 15 – 15In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous Branch to spring up for David.” Jesus has come in the lineage of David. He has come in righteousness. He has come in obedience because God promised to make it so...I will cause a righteous branch to spring up!

Jeremiah had a two fold prophetic role: to proclaim a breaking down and then building up. It was for the restoration of Israel. In the New Testament we see that Paul has one role, building up. And his building up is about the church, Christians, being restored and built up as a church.


2 Corinthians 13.9-11 9For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. Your restoration is what we pray for. 10For this reason I write these things while I am away from you, that when I come I may not have to be severe in my use of the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down. 11Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.


See that line, Paul is there to build up, not to tear down? I think that is because Jesus Christ has torn down all that needed to be destroyed, sin and death. Our task now, as the church, is to pray that we are restored in Jesus to be able to comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the promise is that God’s love and peace will be with us. God does the restoration as Peter notes: 10And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you” (1 Peter 5.1). It is a promise given long ago in Jeremiah and even further back than that! God will fully restore. God makes all things new and whole and a full restoration. We know some of that restoration now and there is even more to come. For one day, God will bring a new heaven and a new earth. His kingdom will come in its fullness. Until then we find restoration in part, in rest, in Sabbath, in the ways God restores our lives in body and soul today and tomorrow.

Jesus said it this way, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11.28). You will find rest and restoration. The Greek word for rest is also the root word for Sabbath, to rest, to be refreshed or restored. I think of practicing Sabbath as one of the ways we find restoration of our souls and bodies and that involves coming to Jesus, but also humbling ourselves before God in prayer and worship, in study and reading, in obedience and faithfulness. God will restore us in Sabbath, in obedience, and in all the ways we see God at work to bring restoration to His people through Jesus Christ. Amen.