““ ‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.’”
(Jeremiah 33:14–16 NIV)
Passages like this are fascinating because to be understood they point to the need for a roadmap for understanding the Bible as a whole. The context here is this: the kingly line of David had been cut off leaving only the stump of a tree. Yet a shoot would spring forth from that stump and grow to provide eternal and enduring refuge for God’s people. Most if not all Christians agree that the shoot is Messiah, and that Messiah is Jesus.
What we don’t all agree on is what Jeremiah had in mind when he says, “Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety.” Is this a promise already fulfilled when the Jews returned to Jerusalem under Persian King Cyrus? Or is it a promise being fulfilled in our own day with the establishment of the modern State of Israel? Or is it a future promise, and if so, is it to be fulfilled with reference to the nation-state of Israel, or with regard to the church as spiritual Israel?
There is a wonderful chart and article in Wikipedia to help you determine whose roadmap you want to use. The chart appears at the beginning of this post.
The article contains a good summary of a number of hermeneutical roadmaps of the Bible. They are:
- Covenant Theology
- Kingdom-Dominion Theology