Jeremiah warns the people of Judah that God is about to let the Babylonians conquer Jerusalem and deport them because they have disobeyed God. That raises the question, “If God really is going to let our city be destroyed and send us into exile, what good is believing in Him? What good is faith?” In Jeremiah 31:31-34, God tells Jeremiah to reveal more about His plan and show His people where faith will eventually lead them.
Archives for 2017
Want to improve your bible study skills? Got 20 minutes? Listen to the Renewing Your Mind podcast. This week (February 2017) RC Sproul is podcasting from his series “Knowing Scripture”, which covers interpreting and applying Scripture properly. Each podcast lasts about 20 minutes, which is perfect for listening while you drive. Time well spent!
Jeremiah 29:1-14 is addressed to people from Jerusalem who have already been deported to Babylon but before Jerusalem itself has been completely destroyed. These people want to escape. They want the exile to end and they want to get back home. Jeremiah writes the letter in this chapter to set them straight. Surprisingly, he doesn’t tell them how to escape; instead he tells them how to endure. What do we do while we await the not-yet? What’s there to do in Babylon?
We live in a world of a million conflicting voices today. You can be constantly updated with tweets, texts, alerts and notifications. Which voice has authority? Which voice can be trusted? In Jeremiah 23:9-33, God addresses this issue of these different voices, criticizing those prophets who claim to speak for Him, but really don’t. In 23:1-8, the Lord called out Judah ’s political leaders; in this section He calls out her spiritual leaders.
Today’s leaders promise hope and change only to deliver corruption and scandal. We elect bright promising outsiders who go to Washington and immediately become insiders. They cease fighting for the ideals they promised in the campaign and start fighting to keep themselves in power. Who can make things right? Who will help us out of this mess?
With Absalom dead, Joab blows the trumpet to end the battles and the civil war is over. Except David is still in exile. Now we have a guilty nation and a vindicated king, and the question that remains is how to restore the relationship. How do you approach your king after you’ve been sinful or rebellious?
The book of Jeremiah is about both political and personal crisis. Part of the message which the Lord told Jeremiah to deliver to the nation of Judah was that they were headed for the kind of disaster that no Israelite would ever believe God could allow to happen to His chosen people. And yet another part of the message God gave Jeremiah was that God was working in the midst of this unthinkable disaster to accomplish something wonderful.
2 Samuel 18 is the climatic battle for the throne. But instead of highlighting the ferocity of the battle, the spotlight focuses on David’s anxiety over his son, and how the news of Absalom’s death impacts him, especially when he learns that the price of rebellion is the death of his son. It is a price David cannot bear to pay, but it is a price God pays for us. David’s grief gives us a glimpse of the price our heavenly father was willing to pay on our behalf.
As we’ve studied the rebellion of Absalom, we’ve been asking what we can learn about responding when we sin, understanding the discipline of our heavenly father, and how to respond when suffering unjustly. With 2 Samuel 17 we focus on these questions from God’s perspective.