Thus says the Lord:
“Keep your voice from weeping,
and your eyes from tears,
for there is a reward for your work,
declares the Lord,
and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
If you were to read the verse that precedes Jeremiah 31:16 you would know that verse sixteen is God speaking about Rachel, whom I guess you could say is the matriarch of the Israelites. Rachel was one of Jacob’s two wives. Jacob became Israel, who was the patriarch of the Israelites. Rachel had trouble bearing children, but eventually was able to conceive and bear Joseph and Benjamin, two of the twelve that make up the tribes of Israel.
In verse fifteen, Rachel is said to be weeping for her children. These verses were written hundreds of years after Rachel’s death, so they are referring to the descendants of Jacob that were now being plundered and taken into captivity.
God, speaking through Jeremiah, is telling the Israelites that someday they will return to the ways of the Lord and return to their land. God is telling the Israelites that the centuries of building their nation and people have not been destroyed forever. Their hard work has not been in vain.
But to me, this verse is also telling us that hard, honest, righteous work will never be in vain. It will not go unrewarded. There is always a payoff for hard work. When you feel that all is lost, that maybe all the hours, days and years you spent toiling to achieve something have all been for naught, you must believe there will be a reward.
Verse sixteen is telling me that when it seems as if all your efforts have been plundered and carried off to never be seen again, you need to keep working. God and the balance of the universe will return to you the fruit of your effort. The when, why, where and how are unknown. The rewards may not be what you expected, but they will come your way as deemed necessary and justified by God.
In verse seventeen we are told: “There is hope for the future, declares the Lord.”
If your work is honest and righteous don’t ever give up.
And in verse twenty one the Lord tell us to learn from our mistakes as we pursue our goals. Remember where you have been and learn from the experiences. Let them serve as markers and milestones of your work, your life. Learn from your mistakes and don’t allow yourself to be plundered and held captive again.
“Set up road markers for yourself; make yourself guide posts; consider well the highway, the road by which you went.”
Believe in your work, for there is reward for righteous, honest, truthful work.
© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.