Guest commentary by Jeremy Scott Wilson, B.A., Biblical and Theological Studies; currently pursuing Master of Arts in Theological Studies and Church History. He blogs at Awakening to basics .
This is one of the most misused verses in the Bible, but the comfort this verse offers is far deeper than the out of context promise often given to graduates.
This was a specific promise given to specific people as opposed to a universal promise to mankind, and it was made to them while God was destroying their nation, tearing down the Temple, and sending the people into 70 years of captivity in a foreign land. Families were torn apart, people were enslaved; those left behind in a desolate homeland struggled to survive starvation. This was the setting of the promise.
But the promise God gave them was- no matter how bad things were about to get, God had a plan and He would not abandon them forever.
The same God who promised Israel their suffering would end, and they would come into a brighter future because of the refining they would experience, is the same God who brings us into the covenant promises. No matter what fire we are in, if it is the Lord’s chastisement we are enduring, God will bring us into a better future if we allow the fire to purify us. When you feel like giving up, endure. Israel suffered for 70 years to receive this promise, we can endure whatever length we must as well. And the glory of the latter house will surpass the glory of the former.