Summary: A look at how Jeremiah depended on the promises of God.
During the wedding rehearsal, the groom approached the pastor with an unusual offer. "Look, I¡¦ll give you $100 if you¡¦ll change the wedding vows. When you get to me and the part where I¡¦m to promise to ¡¥love, honor and obey¡¦ and ¡¥forsaking all others, be faithful to her forever,¡¦ I¡¦d appreciate it if you¡¦d just leave that part out."
He passed the clergyman the cash and walked away satisfied.
It is now the day of the wedding, and the bride and groom have moved to that part of the ceremony where the vows are exchanged. When it comes time for the groom¡¦s vows, the pastor looks the young man in the eye and says:
"Will you promise to prostrate yourself before her, obey her every command and wish, serve her breakfast in bed every morning of your life and swear eternally before God and your lovely wife that you will not ever even look at another woman, as long as you both shall live?"
The groom gulped and looked around, and said in a tiny voice, "Yes."
The groom leaned toward the pastor and hissed, "I thought we had a deal."
The vicar put the $100 into his hand and whispered back, "She made me a much better offer."
„« Run with Purpose
„« Run with Perspective
„« Run with Prayer
„« Run with Persistence
This is the text of the letter that the prophet Jeremiah sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders among the exiles and to the priests, the prophets and all the other people Nebuchadnezzar had carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon¡KThis is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says to all those I carried into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: "Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." Yes, this is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: "Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them," declares the LORD. This is what the LORD says: "When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For 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 and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you," declares the LORD, "and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile."
Jeremiah 29:1, 4-14 (NIV)
„« Exile took place in two stages:
o 598 BC ¡V King Jehoiachin and the queen mother deported to Babylon. Most people, including Jeremiah, left behind with puppet king Zedekiah
o Jeremiah writes this letter in about 594 BC
o Nebuchadnezzar returns in 587 BC destroys city of Jerusalem and took virtually everyone into exile.
„« People forced to move several hundred miles across Middle Eastern desert to a place with new customs, new language, new environment. No temple, no familiar surroundings.
How do we experience exile?
„« In a sense we continually experience ¡§exile¡¨ just because we live in this world.
„« Any time we¡¦re not where we want to be:
o Begins at birth ¡V kicked out of the womb
o Exiled from our homes into school at a young age
o Exiled from school into the workforce
o Every time circumstances change in our lives ¡V either internal or external ¡V we experience a sense of exile ¡V even if we never move from the home we grew up in
„« We are ripped from that which is familiar and thrown into unfamiliar surroundings. Even though we may experience a higher standard of living, better weather or a host of other benefits, it¡¦s still not home.
So how do we survive these exile experiences? How do we ¡§run with the horses¡¨ even when we find ourselves in the midst of circumstances that are unfamiliar and unfriendly? For Jeremiah, the answer was simple. I handle these exile experiences by ¡§standing on the promises of God.¡¨ That seems pretty simple, but how do I actually do that?