I remember joyfully singing this verse many times as I was growing up, and trusting its simple message. But in the context of Jeremiah's experiences, it takes on an added dimension.
Remember, Jeremiah is a prisoner of King Zedekiah.
He has been preaching God's judgment due to the blatant and continued disobedience of the people.
Recently, God has added a message of future forgiveness and restoration.
This latest revelation must have been difficult for Jeremiah to fully comprehend. So God takes extra measures in helping Jeremiah to grasp the ideas he is preaching to the people. God instructs him to buy the land from his cousin as described in my last post and in chapter 32. Jeremiah obeys God, but cries out for further assurance, which God gives him.
Evidently, Jeremiah needs still further assurance. Here in chapter 33, verse 1, the word of the Lord came unto Jeremiah the second time, while he was yet shut up in the court of the prison.
God then says in verse 3, Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
It was not difficult for Jeremiah to understand God's judgment. He could hear, touch and see the sin of the people around him. He was experiencing along with them the foreign domination and oppression. He could see the current destruction and knew of the coming death and desolation. Have you ever stood amidst the rubble left by a tornado or hurricane or perhaps picked through the smoldering embers of a forest fire or smoking remains of a burned up house? Remember the sense of empty amazement? How could anything ever be the same again? Jeremiah must have had similar sensations. He could not perceive how this land and these people could ever be restored to a place of plenty and praise.
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not! The word mighty here refers to things that are cut off or out of reach, like a well-fortified city that is difficult if not impossible to see. And the word know carries the idea of being able to ascertain by seeing or observing. God tells Jeremiah that if he and the people of Israel will call upon Him, He will reveal to them amazing things that they cannot currently imagine!
As we read on in verses 4-5, we see God confirming the fast and furious judgment and destruction. But then comes contrasting verse 6! Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. Here are the great and mighty things that they cannot perceive! As they return to Him in repentance and humility, God will indeed bring an abundance of peace, safety, and security. He will heal the land and return it to its intended splendor. He goes on in the rest of the chapter to detail the coming blessings.
This true account from the book of Jeremiah reassures me that there is no area of my life or yours that is too desolate or barren for God to restore. The restoration doesn't always come in the way I think it will. We serve a creative and omnipotent God. He knows what is best for me. But as I follow Him, and come to Him in repentance and humility, I can call out to Him, and in His time, He will show me the things I cannot now perceive. Those areas that seem destroyed beyond repair can be brought to life. As I obey His voice, He can bring abundant peace and stability to my confusion and chaos.
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not!
Keep calling! Keep listening! Keep obeying! The answer may be sudden, or it may be little by little. But He has an abundance of peace and truth for His children.