IMAGES OF HOPE FROM JEREMIAH
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The events of 2020 have brought us to our knees.
COVID-19 has taken the lives of over 100,000 Americans and put many more out of work. Under quarantine, many of us have grown lonely and spiritually numb. The murder of George Floyd has prompted our nation to reckon with our legacy of systemic racism, sparking protests and demands for justice. In the midst of these competing crises, it seems like both our society and our personal lives are spiraling out of control.
Despite this personal and cultural exile, the Lord is not silent. What is God’s invitation to us in this upheaval? To answer that question, we will turn to the prophet Jeremiah, whose messages from God to His people contain vibrant and startling images that both expose our spiritual condition and magnify God’s merciful heart toward us.
Over the next 10 weeks, we will see that God wants us back, and is offering us a fresh hope, a clarified purpose, and a promised season of renewal.
Each week following the sermon, re-read that previous Sunday’s preaching passage every day, asking the Lord to be with you and speak to you. (For example, after you hear the Sunday sermon on Jeremiah 1:1-12, read Jeremiah 1:1-12 each day for the following week.) Then, either in one sitting or throughout the week, respond to and meditate on the study questions and personal questions in your prayer journal. (Don’t have a prayer journal? Grab any blank-ish notebook and start one!)
Week 10: Rescuing the Prophet from the Pit (37:11-38:13)
“They pulled him up with the ropes and lifted him out of the cistern.”
SUMMARY: Fulfilling God’s call on our life includes setbacks and rejection. Sometimes good leaders are punished for their integrity. Yet because of God’s faithful character, working through his courageous people, he will vindicate his leaders and his message.
- Summarize this story in your own words.
- Why does Jeremiah include this story in this book? Why is this story to the overall narrative and themes of Jeremiah?
- What does this story teach us about God’s character, especially when we face setbacks in pursuit of his call?
- How do you feel when you face rejection or setback because of your obedience to God?
- Does Jeremiah’s experience resonate with you or your current circumstances?
- How can you pray in these moments of setback?
- How can you support leaders in your church or your community when they face rejection or misunderstanding in their pursuit of obedience or integrity?
PRAYER: Faithful God, look upon your servants who daily who face trial or rejection in their pursuit of your call, even as Christ was despised and rejected that your will might be done; vindicate them, Lord, in your mercy, that they may faithfully proclaim your Word and live according to your commandments, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Additional resources for
context and extended study
- Watch this video from The Bible Project outlining the structure and message of the book: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RSK36cHbrk0&feature=emb_title.
- Make reading the whole book more accessible by reading it in the Message, The Living Bible, or the New Living Translation. Or listen to it with our church’s free subscription to the Dwell App (available till 8/31).
- Read Jeremiah along with other biblical books written in the same time period.
- For some historical literature: 2 Kings 21-25; 2 Chronicles 34-36.
- For other prophetic texts: Zephaniah and Habakkuk.
- For the psalms and other poetry: Lamentations and Psalms 74, 79, 83, 94, 115.
- Study the book of Jeremiah using one of these commentaries as a guide: