The Mournful Stillness of the Present
Jeremiah 33:10, 11
Thus said the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which you say shall be desolate without man and without beast…

I. THE PRESENT STILLNESS. What makes it so painful? Not all stillness is painful; indeed, stillness is often very grateful, a thing to be sought, a timely refuge for those who are stunned and confused by the clamours of the world. The stillness of night is pleasant after the noise of day. The stillness of the mountain and the wilderness seems more still when one has come from the city's bustle. There is even something suggestive of escape into everlasting peace when one looks at the stillness of death as contrasted with all the power of sound in the previous life. But the stillness here is painful, because it does not come in any normal way; it is stillness where there ought to be sound - sounds of traffic, sounds of friendly intercourse, sounds of children playing, sounds of worship. To come into the individual life, it is the silence of the dumb, the silence of that which was made to speak, intended to speak, and can only be silent because of some inexplicable interference with natural constitution. Dumbness ought not to be, and so the state of things here represented, when in the houses and streets of Jerusalem there was sound neither of man nor beast, was one which ought not to have been. There was no occasion for it in the very constitution of things. It came by man's own bringing of it. The present silence had been preceded by many voices that ought never to have been heard - voices of threatening, voices of greedy demand, voices of revenge, voices of complaint and of indignant appeal against injustice.

II. THE VOICES OF THE FUTURE. The sounds of life are to flow back into the now desolate streets, but they are to be the sounds of a different kind of life. Sounds springing from righteousness within and from a principle of obedience to Jehovah. Sounds that come from a universally satisfied people. Not sounds of joy and gladness in palaces, and sounds of privation and despair in hovels; but sunshine falling everywhere, and everywhere the hearts of the people ready to break forth into song. In the eleventh verse there is first of all the general indication of gladness. Every one is full of healthy life, which, as a matter of course, breaks forth into joyful manifestation. Then, as a very significant illustration, there is the gladness of the bridegroom and the bride. This signifies a stable society, a hopeful prospect, the joys of home life. Probably there was no joy so demonstrative as that connected with wedding festivities. Then the joy of religion comes in to crown and conclude all. Praise to Jehovah for his goodness and his enduring mercy, and offerings of thanksgiving in his house. If joy of this kind had been absent, the other joy would not long have lasted. From what God sends down into our lives as causes of abiding joy, we must send back to him responses of intelligent and heartfelt praise. - Y.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast,

WEB: Thus says Yahweh: Yet again there shall be heard in this place, about which you say, It is waste, without man and without animal, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man and without inhabitant and without animal,

Thanksgiving Unstinted
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