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Summary: How do we handle tough situations. Jeremiah had continual tough situations to deal with ... let’s see how he dealt with them.

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I have 7 words for you

1) Background to the exile

a) Prophets speak

b) Assyria – Israel – scatter

c) Babylonia – Judah – exile

d) No one listened to Jeremiah. Thrown in jail. But his prophecies came to pass

e) We need to understand the importance of ‘the land’ to Israel. All of God’s promises concerned the land that He would give to them

f) They loved their land. It gave them a sense of belonging. An identity. It made them feel special. It was a guarantee of God’s love – a sign of His faithfulness

it was home

g) And now they were ripped out of their home, taken to a strange place. Not as beautiful. Couldn’t understand the people. They were slaves. Didn’t like the landscape, the architecture, the food, the music, the weather.

h) How would you feel? What would you do if you are forced to spend time with people you don’t like?

i) Here’s how they felt ‘by the rivers of Babylon’

j) It’s like moving from Jhb to Cape Town. Have to support the Stormers.

2) Jeremiah’s letter (29:1-14)

a) Build houses and live in them

i) Settle.

ii) They didn’t want to do this because this was a strange land

iii) They didn’t want to be here in the first place

iv) If you drive forward and look in the rear view mirror, you will crash

b) Plan gardens and eat their produce

i) Don’t be lazy

ii) Get an understanding of this new land

iii) Remain holy – don’t get caught up in pagan practices

c) Take wives and have sons and daughters

i) Be productive

ii) Get a life

d) Seek the welfare of the city. Pray for the city

i) Issue here is forgiveness

e) Don’t listen to the false prophets

i) Because that will limit your progress, cultivate negative thinking etc

3) Summarise Jeremiah’s message in 7 words:

a) ‘get over it’ (…but that’s only 3 words, where are the other 4?)

b) I’m glad you asked . . . “GET OVER IT AGAIN”

4) What has this got to do with us? (glad you asked)

a) Life is full of ‘exile’ experiences

i) Birth (video)

ii) Home  school

iii) School  work

iv) Moving home

v) Tragedies are like an exile – a death

vi) We just get used to one set of circumstances and then we are forced to change . . . a new minister comes

vii) Exile is being in a place you don’t want to be with people you don’t want to be with

5) The issue is how we deal with change

a) Is 43:19 God is doing a new thing (7 words)

b) Drew (7 words)

c) Two kinds of people in the world: those who complain about what isn’t there, and those who rejoice over what is there.

Which category do you fit into. Are you going to live your life based on what you don’t have or are you going to base your life on what you do have?

Conc

The great thing about this period of exile is that it proved to be one of the richest times for some of the Jews. They had to write and copy the scriptures and in so doing they re discovered God. They prayed with new fervour – Daniel

And this was God’s intention Jer 29:11

In exile the Jews lost all that they thought was important and they discovered what really is important . . . GOD

God allows things to shake us . . . so that we can rediscover Him. But if we keep longing for the way things were . . . 7 wor


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