After the six days of creation in Genesis one God commissioned Adam and Eve to go and “be fruitful and fill the earth.” Sin always results in just the opposite of God’s good plans for our lives. Rebellion results in chaos. Everything is “without 27 hopeform and void.” Jeremiah has been referring to the creation of the world at which time God brought something out of nothing and then brought order out of chaos and filled the earth with all good things. As Jeremiah described the consequences of Judah’s sin he used the language which reverses the process of creation. He concludes his description in Jeremiah 4:25 where he writes, “I looked, and behold, there was no man, and all the birds of the air had fled.”

Jeremiah is going to speak to his people, and to us, about a new covenant. That covenant will usher in a time in which the Spirit of God will once again “move over the face of the deep.” Once again order and life will come from chaos and emptiness. Lloyd-Jones says that this “spirit” or “breath” might best be described as a “breath of hope.” He writes, “The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ into this world has brought a breath of hope. That is why the introductions to the Gospels are so lyrical. ‘The people which sat in darkness saw great light …’ (Matt. 4:16). It is like a traveler going through a trackless desert, seeing nothing but sand and sand and sand. The sun is shining upon him, he is oppressed by the heat, and suddenly he sees an oasis; the mirage has become a pool. These are the expressions that are used in the Bible to convey to us some impression of the blessings of this great Christian salvation. When everything else has failed, when all is sin and shame, when humanity is defeated and hopeless, Christ comes, and at once there is hope.”[1]

Jeremiah never leaves his people without hope. The promise of the New Covenant that Jeremiah predicted came with Jesus. Jesus inaugurated it Himself at the last supper when he took the cup and said that this is the symbol of the New Covenant written in my blood. Heaven is the prospect of the perfect fulfillment of God’s intended purpose for man. We long for that day just as Jeremiah did in his day. We think of it in the midst of our pain and suffering to glean the hope and strength we need to carry on as we walk together through the valley of the shadow of death. We say to each other in our suffering just what God said to those in the midst of great suffering in Israel; “I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11).

[1] David Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Authentic Christianity, 1st U.S. ed., vol. 1, Studies in the Book of Acts (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2000), 286.