When division leads to multiplication – Tuesday, 18th week in ordinary time – Jeremiah 30:1-2,12-15,18-22
This section is dated, “in the tenth year of King Zedekiah”, who, you remember, was the last of the kings of Judah. The captivity of Judah by Babylon took place in the eleventh year of his reign, so things are very close to the end. The city has been under siege for over a year, and already sharp famine has set in. There is no bread in the city at all, and it looks to be only a matter of weeks before the city must capitulate to the siege of the Babylonian forces. There is no relief in sight, no one on the horizon to help them. The nation is facing perhaps the darkest hour in all its history.
For twenty-three years, Jeremiah had prophesied the coming destruction of Jerusalem (from God’s case against Judah in chapter 2 through chapter 28). His tone, thus far, has been largely one of judgment. Then in chapters 30-33 which is also called the ‘Book of Consolation’, the prophet looked forward to the restoration of God’s kingdom. While the situation, humanly speaking, could not have been darker, God commands Jeremiah to speak out concerning the future while also addressing the present.