V 18. In those days the people of Judah and Israel will return together from exile in the north. They will return to the land I gave your ancestors as an inheritance forever.
In the middle of all Jeremiah’s prophetic woes, he hears God announce ‘“Return home, you wayward children,” says the LORD, “for I am your master. I will bring you back to the land of Israel,one from this town and two from that family—from wherever you are scattered. And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will guide you with knowledge and understanding.” God’s purpose is restoration – not punishment. It went beyond seventy years of exile in Babylon, beyond the apparent loss of nationhood and the end of the Jewish Dream in the Promised Land. It took men like the prophet Ezekiel to comfort the exiles, and Ezra and Nehemiah to set about the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the Temple – but the job would be done, because that was God’s purpose.
Meanwhile, Jeremiah was to be God’s prophet announcing all this – the purpose for which he was appointed even before birth.