Reading: “Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn.”—Jeremiah 31:8–9
If God is the God of all the families of Israel, and if Israel is His son, and Ephraim his first-born, how can the right of inheritance fail? God is engaged by this covenant and he will fulfill the promises of it.
And what are they? That he will bring them not only from Babylon, but also from all places of captivity. Jesus, the Son of his love, is commissioned “to bring the prisoners out of the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house.” Do not overlook that it is God who undertakes for them, and not themselves—and what God undertakes, he will surely perform. Well, but they are scattered far. Yes! but God will gather them. But they are diminishing. No! a great company shall return. But they are blind, and do not know the way, they are lame, and when they know, have no power to walk in it. Yes! but, says he that made the eye, and he that gives strength to the lame, both “the blind and the lame,” yea, even the woman in pregnancy, and her that is in travail, all shall come. “I will be eyes,” God says, “to the blind, and feet to the lame; I will lead them in a way they know not; I will undertake for them.”
God is a father in this relationship, to all the families in Israel; and in him all the families of the earth are blessed. Pause, over this precious Scripture; and see if these covenant marks are on you, as a sure token of you being in Christ, and gathered from the coasts of the earth; that you are following Jesus, as Mary Magdalene did, with tears and supplications. The eye that is looking to Jesus, will affect the heart; and the heart that is wounded with the view of Jesus dying for sin, will cause tears to fall; and both will follow Christ under the Spirit’s teaching and gracious influences.