Summary: ``Anticipate the Promise`` through recognizing 1) The Advent of the Promise (Jeremiah 3:14), 2) The Administration of the Promise (Jeremiah 33:15), and 3) The Appropriation of the Promise (Jeremiah 33:16)
As we put up our Christmas decorations here last week it became clearly evident who was most excited. Without the need for reminding, or corralling, the kids excitedly decorated the trees and expressed their excitement for the prospect of Christmas. It was clearly evident seeing the expression on the faces of the kids that they were looking forward to Christmas.
For all of us, our anticipation of Christmas becomes focused in the Advent season. Advent is the time when we anticipate the coming of Christ through thoughtful introspection and spiritual preparation. Together we celebrate the promise about Christ’s coming as promised in the Old Testament, and His return in glory as promised throughout the New Testament.
For the divided nation of Israel, the promise of ``The Righteous Branch`` in Jeremiah 33 was a promise filled with profound hope—anticipating a time when an anointed king, a Messiah, and a descendant of David would appear in Israel’s history to bring righteousness and justice to the nation, and thus give God’s people the security they both needed and wanted. Jeremiah’s prophetic vision anticipates that the nation’s future will not be decided by the Babylonians, but by Yahweh himself. An abiding confidence in Yahweh as Israel’s saviour and protector is expressed throughout the Old Testament, but especially among the great prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Here we discover a hopeful faith for difficult times such as ours. (Sermon notes fromAdventExperience.com)
In his prophesy, Jeremiah encourages his hearers to ``Anticipate the Promise`` through recognizing 1) The Advent of the Promise (Jeremiah 3:14), 2) The Administration of the Promise (Jeremiah 33:15), and 3) The Appropriation of the Promise (Jeremiah 33:16)
1) The Advent of the Promise (Jeremiah 3:14)
Jeremiah 33:14 "Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
Jeremiah used the phrase the days are coming (hinnēh yāmîm bā’îm) 16 times in his book. In a negative sense it referred to the coming destruction of Judah and the surrounding nations (cf. 7:32; 9:25; 19:6; 48:12; 49:2; 51:47, 52). However, in its remaining 9 occurrences it pointed to a future period of blessing for Israel when (a) the nation will be restored from captivity (16:14-15; 23:7-8; 30:3), (b) the righteous Branch of David will be ruling over a united monarchy (23:5-6; 33:14-15), (c) the nation will be experiencing peace and prosperity in the land (31:27-28; 33:14, 16), (d) the New Covenant with its cleansing from sin will be in effect (“The time is coming,” 31:31-34), and (e) the city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt as a Holy City that will never again be destroyed (31:38-40). These promises transcend anything that Israel has experienced throughout her long history (Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Je 33:14–16). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.).
But how did the people of God get so far away from this situation?
Please turn back to Jeremiah 25 (p.652)
God warns that rejection of Him has consequences. Because of a rebellion against God, He allowed the nation of Israel to come under captivity by a foreign power. Jeremiah talked about the Advent of the promise, at a particular time of ``day`` in the context of a divided nation of Jerusalem and Judah under captivity
Jeremiah 25:1-11 [25:1]The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the people of Judah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah (that was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon), which Jeremiah the prophet spoke to all the people of Judah and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: "For twenty-three years, from the thirteenth year of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah, to this day, the word of the LORD has come to me, and I have spoken persistently to you, but you have not listened. You have neither listened nor inclined your ears to hear, although the LORD persistently sent to you all his servants the prophets, saying, 'Turn now, every one of you, from his evil way and evil deeds, and dwell upon the land that the LORD has given to you and your fathers from of old and forever. Do not go after other gods to serve and worship them, or provoke me to anger with the work of your hands. Then I will do you no harm.' Yet you have not listened to me, declares the LORD, that you might provoke me to anger with the work of your hands to your own harm. "Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: Because you have not obeyed my words, behold, I will send for all the tribes of the north, declares the LORD, and for Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and I will bring them against this land and its inhabitants, and against all these surrounding nations. I will devote them to destruction, and make them a horror, a hissing, and an everlasting desolation. Moreover, I will banish from them the voice of mirth and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride, the grinding of the millstones and the light of the lamp. This whole land shall become a ruin and a waste, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. (ESV)