Bible Society of South Africa

War and peace – Day 5

Comfort and hope

Bible text(s)

The LORD's Mercy on Israel

15The LORD says,

“A sound is heard in Ramah,

the sound of bitter weeping.

Rachel is crying for her children;

they are gone,

and she refuses to be comforted.

16Stop your crying

and wipe away your tears.

All that you have done for your children

will not go unrewarded;

they will return from the enemy's land.

17There is hope for your future;

your children will come back home.

I, the LORD, have spoken.

Jeremiah 31:15-17GNBOpen in Bible reader

In The Book of Jeremiah, the prophet Jeremiah announces disaster for the people of God. They will be taken captive to Babylonia. Yet, there is also hope. Jeremiah refers to Rachel, the wife of Jacob and the mother of Joseph and Benjamin. She died when Benjamin was born (Genesis 35:16-20). Here, hundreds of years later, she is re-enacted. She weeps for her distant offspring, the people of God. But, God is a comforting God. He comforts Rachel and her children, and offers them a hopeful future. In this way, God offers perspective in the midst of violence and suffering. This is still relevant today. Even now, we need God’s comfort and hope.

In the Bible, you read that many of God’s people have died as a result of oppression and violence of war. There is a lot of sadness about this. But, God gives recognition here of that sorrow, and comfort. God shows himself as a God who cares and draws close to his people.

What does this mean for your life of faith?

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