Sermons

Summary: A continuing study in Jeremiah

  Study Tools
  Study Tools

Sermon Preached by Rev. Larry C. Brincefield on November 7, 2004

Title: Instructions for the Exiles

Text: Jeremiah 29:4-14

Introduction

1. Last week, we looked at Jeremiah 24 and the 2 baskets of figs…

The good figs represented the people who were obedient to God…

And willingly allowed themselves to be carried into captivity.

The bad figs were those people who escaped to Egypt or otherwise avoided capture.

These people were disobedient to God’s plan for their lives…

And as such, they would suffer the consequences of their disobedience.

2. Chapter 29 contains a letter that Jeremiah wrote to the exiles….

This letter contained instructions and guidance about how they were to conduct themselves during their exile.

And in fact, there are 5 specific things that God tells the people of Judah in this letter…

Let’s stand together as we read it.

Read Text: Jeremiah 29:4-14

Body

1. Prepare for the long haul. Vv. 4-6

A. I’m sure that the people of the exile were discouraged…

They were depressed…

They were homesick…

They missed their homes…

Their temple…

Their fellow countrymen who had avoided capture…

I’m sure they were hoping that this captivity would be over quickly…

In fact, there were some prophets who directly contradicted Jeremiah’s prophesy by saying that the captivity would be short…(more about that later)

B. Even now, after the people refused to repent

And return to God…God still reached out to them…

Via this letter from Jeremiah…

And through Jeremiah, God was giving the people guidance and instruction about how to conduct themselves during the exile.

C. Jeremiah’s letter starts out by saying:

Build houses…settled down…

Plant gardens…eat what they produce…

Have your sons and daughters marry…

Increase in number…

In other words, this isn’t going to be a short captivity…

You are in it for the long haul…

Make the best of it.

D. When difficulties arise…

Instead of allowing our lives come to a screeching halt…

We must find our strength in God…

And find a way to move forward….

To continue to live a fruitful and vital life.

2. Pray for those in authority over you. V. 7

A. God also instructs them to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you”…

I’m sure that this instruction would have been directly contrary to their human nature…

People love to be free…

I’m sure that these people would have wanted to buck under the authority of the Babylonians…

They would have wanted to sabotage them…

Try to escape…

Try to create trouble and disruption and anarchy…

But God wants them to do just the opposite…

Seek the peace…

Seek the prosperity of that city…

Not only that, but “pray to the Lord” for that city…

Here in Jeremiah, we find the first admonition in the Bible to pray for your enemies…

This is the same message that Christ preached in the Sermon on the Mount: You have heard that it was said, ’Love your neighbor[1] and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you: Love your enemies[2] and pray for those who persecute you

3. Do not be led astray vv. 8-9

A. The 3rd instruction from God in this letter is “Don’t be deceived”…

“Don’t be led astray”…

When Jeremiah wrote this letter to the exiles…

There were false prophets who were prophesying against Jeremiah…

They were misleading the people…

Telling them that the captivity would be short-lived.

B. One of these was Shemaiah the Nehelamite.

In fact, later on in our chapter, we find that he tried to get Zephaniah to put Jeremiah in stocks and neck-irons.

But God points out that Shemaiah was a fake…

And for his sins, he would be severely punished.

4. God’s plans vv 10-13

A. Then, we come to the 4th instruction…

And here in verses 10-13, God lets them know that He’s got great plans for them.

God tells them that after their time of exile…

He says, “I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place”…

I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord…

Plans to prosper you …

And not to harm you…

Plans to give you hope and a future…

Then you will call upon me…

You will come and pray to me…

And I will listen to you…

You will seek me…

And you will find me…

When you seek me with all your heart.

B. When we go through difficult times, we may think that God has forgotten about us…

That He has abandoned us…

But nothing could be further from the truth…

Because God has plans for you…

And God’s plans aren’t to harm you…

But to give you hope and a future…

But during those times of exile…

It’s hard to remember that…

Download Sermon With PRO View On One Page With PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media


Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion