December 29 | Bible in a Year: Zechariah 5-8; Revelation 19
Rebuilding the Ruins
Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor.
READ JEREMIAH 33:6–11
At seventeen, Dowayne had to leave his family’s home in Manenberg, a part of Cape Town, South Africa, because of his stealing and addiction to heroin. He didn’t go far, building a shack of corrugated metal in his mother’s backyard, which soon became known as the Casino, a place to use drugs. When he was nineteen, however, Dowayne came to saving faith in Jesus. His journey off drugs was long and exhausting, but he got clean with God’s help and with the support of friends who are believers in Jesus. And ten years after Dowayne built the Casino, he and others turned the hut into a house church. What was once a dark and foreboding place now is a place of worship and prayer.
The leaders of this church look to Jeremiah 33 for how God can bring healing and restoration to people and places, as He’s done with Dowayne and the former Casino. The prophet Jeremiah spoke to God’s people in captivity, saying that although the city would not be spared, yet God would heal His people and would “rebuild them,” cleansing them from their sin (Jeremiah 33:7-8). Then the city would bring Him joy, renown, and honor (v. 9).
When we’re tempted to despair over the sin that brings heartbreak and brokenness, let’s continue to pray that God will bring healing and hope, even as He’s done in a backyard in Manenberg.
By Amy Boucher Pye
REFLECT & PRAY
God, thank You for sparking new life in what appeared to be dead. Continue to work in me, that I might share Your saving love with others.
How have you seen God bring restoration in your own life and in the lives of others? How can you pray for His healing this day?
Jeremiah spoke the words in Jeremiah 33:6-11 while Jerusalem was under siege from Nebuchadnezzar’s army. Yet he himself was a prisoner of King Zedekiah at the time. Displeased with Jeremiah’s persistent message of judgment against Judah, the king had the prophet placed in confinement (see 32:2-5). Imagine being a prisoner inside a starving city surrounded by a hostile army. That was Jeremiah’s personal situation. Yet God continued to speak through His prophet. Chapter 33 begins, “While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the LORD came to him a second time” (v. 1). The message again was bleak. The city’s desperate measures to save itself would fail. But verse 6 signals a change. God would bring a future deliverance.
Visit Our Daily Bread University: Old Testament, Jeremiah to gain an overview of the book of Jeremiah. Tim Gustafson