This week, in our reading, we have an interesting juxtaposition as we finish Isaiah and begin Jeremiah. Jeremiah, who like Isaiah, at first explains the reasons he couldn’t possibly accept his calling, eventually becomes an effective prophet.
As we begin Jeremiah, we once again see God calling his people out for their sins. Like Isaiah, Jeremiah accuses God’s people of idolatry and unfaithfulness. Punishment, specifically exile, is imminent.
The juxtaposition comes in our also reading the end of Isaiah this week. The end of Isaiah explains God’s restoration of the Israelites back to him. When that happens, they will have received their punishment and God will bring them back to himself.
This contrast between punishment and restoration is important for us to recognize. Just like children only go to timeout for an appropriate period of time and like you’re only frozen in Freeze Tag until someone unfreezes you, exile is only for a time. Ultimately, all our sufferings and punishments are temporary and restoration to God is the goal for all of us.