Q. According to Jeremiah 30:11, God will completely destroy the nations during the Great Tribulation. What does the Hebrew word for “destroy” mean? Then, during the Millennium, it sounds as if the “world” begins in an Edenic condition again, so what will happen to restore it to that condition? Will there be miraculous acts by God to restore it physically and socially, and rebuild what sounds like essentially an agrarian society?
I’m excited by the whole scene because I’ve never been able to envision the Church sitting around in the New Jerusalem twiddling our thumbs. I see us as actively participating in meaningful work to rebuild the world and to help Jesus establish a society of justice, peace and plenty for all.
A. The Hebrew word translated destroy in Jeremiah 30:11 literally means complete destruction or annihilation. In various places you can read of all the mountains falling and every building toppling. About half the world’s population will apparently survive all this, but those who haven’t become believers will be escorted off the planet, leaving only believers to re-inhabit the nations.
While the Bible doesn’t say this clearly, I believe the judgments of the Great Tribulation are partly for the purpose of re-forming the Earth and preparing it for the miraculous restoration that will take place with the Lord’s coming (Matt. 19:28). At that time, the Earth will be restored to its original Eden-like condition. Dozens of Old Testament references confirm this.
I believe it was always the Lord’s intention that we remain an agrarian society. Building cities, inventing labor saving devices, and pursuing activities associated with leisure and self fulfillment all came through the rebellious line of Cain.
Our role in the Earth’s restoration is not defined in any kind of detail, so we’ll have to wait and see about that. But the few things we know about the first 1000 years of our eternity with the Lord certainly does not include sitting around twiddling our thumbs. After all, it’s the time mankind has been waiting 6,000 years for, and it’s described with words like happiness, joy, and bliss.