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Jeremiah Session 21 (Chapter 30)

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In Chapter 30 of the book of Jeremiah, God goes beyond the rebellious state/condition of Judah and Israel, and in His faithfulness, He stresses the future that He has planned for them, one that is hopeful and bright. How can a bright future and chaotic present be reconcilable? In a word; potential, but it's going to require refinement in the meantime. 

Jeremiah Session 20 (Chapter 28 & 29)

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Jeremiah chapter 28 chronicles the war of words and feelings between the positive, upbeat message of the charismatic false prophet Hananiah and the disturbing and challenging, though truth filled message of Jeremiah. People didn't want to listen to Jeremiah in Judah, yet they did want to listen to Hananiah. We look at this dynamic then, and how it is vividly transparent today. In Jeremiah chapter 29, God instructs Jeremiah to warn Judah that invasion is coming, and what to do after it comes. This will be an open display of obedience or rebellion. Also, false prophets are getting sick and tired of Jeremiah's messages and warnings, so the false prophet Shemiah tries to smear Jeremiah, a true prophet, as a false one in hopes to discredit him and his message. We also look at how that relates today. 

Jeremiah Session 19 (Chapter 26 & 27)

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In chapter 26, false prophets are again being confronted with the truth that God is giving Jeremiah. However, these religious leaders are so enraged at Jeremiah, that they want to kill him. How are false prophets and religious leaders hostile to the truth of God today? We als(in the case of Urijah) fears man and walks out of the will of God, while Jeremiah continues to deliver the truth regardless of the threats on his life. Then, in chapter 27, God sets Judah and Jerusalem up with wisdom as to how to handle the coming invasion from Babylon. King Nebuchadnezzar is being used as a servant whom all nations will serve, and all who resist him will be punished. This lesson is sovereignty teaches us how God places power in the hands of some, takes power away from others to serve the purposes that He has for them to get their hearts and attention focused on Him. 

Jeremiah Session 18 (Chapter 25)

In Jeremiah chapter 25, we learn that God has sent Jeremiah message after message to the people of Judah now for 23 years, warning them to listen, repent, and stop pursuing other "gods". As spiritual decline begins with a defection away from the Lord, worship becomes a matter of self-service rather than self-sacrifice. Yet the people don't care, because if they did, things would change. How does caring about what God says mean everything to Israel, Judah, and our society today? Also, as God warns of judgment, punishment, and captivity, He is promising grace, guidance, and restoration if they turn to Him, because He cares for them. Yet they still do not listen, and God gives a prophecy regarding the judgment of all nations. What does that mean for the future?

Jeremiah Session 17 (Chapter 23 cont. & 24) 

In this session, we look a little further into Jeremiah chapter 23, particularly when it comes to false prophets and the impact that they're having on the wayward kings, and wayward people. Back in the day, prophets use to advise godly kings in Israel and Judah, but at this point in history, the spiritual, moral, and guiding aspects in the nation's ability to govern has captured God's attention, arouses his anger, and he warns them. And yet, they don't care what He has to say. In chapter 24, Jeremiah is led to observe two baskets of figs, one good, one bad. He is led to paint an illustration using the figs in regards to the coming Judgment Judah will face. The remnant are the good figs, because they will do as God says, and God will in turn take care of them. The bad figs are those like King Zedekiah, his sons, and the rest of the people, who will work to resist the armies of Babylon despite God's warning and hand in bringing them against Judah and Israel. In other words, the bad figs will be "thrown out". 

Jeremiah Session 16 (Chapter 23)

God wants His leaders to be loving shepherds who tend to, guide, care for, protect, and keep His "sheep" securely in the fold. This is selfless leadership. But instead, Judah's kings and spiritual leaders were stubborn, selfish, disloyal, sinful, and outright refused to listen to God. God wants people to, under the power of the Holy Spirit, preach the truth as He moves you, not just tell people what they want to hear. Moreover, God is a true shepherd, in the most fundamental sense of the word and He will take care of things when He comes. (Note: This entire concept of a shepherd is one that Ezekiel is sent to reiterate in his ministry-to Judah, recorded in Ezekiel chapter 34). 

Jeremiah Session 15 (Chapter 22)

In Jeremiah chapter 22, God has a stern message for the puppet kings of Judah. Although King Zedekiah sat on David's throne, he did not lead as David led, and was not a man after God's own heart like David (and even his father Josiah) was. And so, the throne of David is going to be taken away from him. For Jehoiakim, he was disobedient since his youth, however despite that, God reached out to him in times of prosperity, but Jehoiakim refused to listen. So, God warns him that when he dies, he will die in disgrace and no one will lament for him. As for Coniah, his sins, and the weight that they bare, will jeopardize his future, the future of his family, and the future of the nation as they will cause him to be unable to govern. What does all of this teach us for today? Also, in his anger towards the nation, God speaks directly to their heart's condition on how they treat the vulnerable and the needy. Does how we treat homeless people today serve as a barometer on the condition of our hearts, and what does that say for our nation today?