Jeremiah is the Lamenting prophet – there is a lot of Woe and not often much hope!
- Woe to the shepherds – the kings who were not caring for their flock. Shepherds were looked down on, so there’s some irony when Shepherding is often used a metaphor for kings and even the Lord.
- Woe because they have scattered the sheep through their terrible leadership -some were in exile in Babylon and some were refugees in Egypt
But God will gather his people together and put good shepherds over them who will care for and keep them – that will lead to multiplication and fruitfulness again.
Better than that there will be a righteous branch raised up from David v5-6 – this is the same imagery that Isaiah has used last week for a shoot coming from the stump of Jesse. This righteous branch – is Jesus. Because the Old Testament is all about Jesus!
I do a little bit of coding and in all my code I hide this ASCII art in the comments!
The righteous branch is Jesus, who was born of the line of David. The monarchy ended with the exile, but Jesus is the shoot – the righteous branch from the stump that is all that is left of the Davidic dynsaty.
Jeremiah then announces the righteous branch will be called the the Lord is our righteousness – Yahweh Tsidkenu. That’s a play on words as the current King Zedekiah’s name means My righteous is our Lord. Zedekiah a bad king has his name kinda reversed to give a name of the Messiah to come. Jesus is our righteousness.
At the fall mankind lost righteousness, we became sinners by nature, confirming every day by sinning – fallingshort of God’s righteousness. God must have righteousness in His presence – no stain of sin or eveil in His presence for He is Good. None of our efforts to be righteous will do – they as Isaiah says like used menstrual cloths (Isa 64:6). So Jesus the perfect righteous One came and died in our place. He who had no sin, became sin for us. Our sin was placed on him and his righteousness was placed on us. The Lord is our righteousness! Hallelujah!