Summary: God wants to put a smile on your face.
That’ll Put a Smile on Your Face
Sermon by: Rick Crandall
McClendon Baptist Church, West Monroe, LA
Originally preached January 25, 2004
*Wade Hughes tells us that the average child laughs 400 times a day...
--But the average adult only laughs 15 times a day. (1)
*Have you lost the laughter in your life?
-Sometimes we do
--But that’s not good.
*Pro 17:22 tells us that
-A merry heart does us good like a medicine...
--And as we look into the Word of God today, we see that God wants to put a smile on your face.
1. He cares about your pain...
-(We see this in vs. 4-9)
*The people who got this letter from the Lord were in great pain...
1-They were in pain first of all because of losing...
*They had gone through a terrible loss to the Babylonian Empire.
*Think for a moment about the splendors of ancient Babylon. Melvin Newland helps us see with these words:
-"In 597 B.C., Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylonian army captured Jerusalem. The invaders took the King prisoner, plundered the temple, & carried off 10,000 captives to spend the rest of their lives in a foreign land along with Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, & Abednego who had been taken in an earlier invasion.
-Three months later, following a 600-mile journey around the Arabian Desert, the Jewish captives entered Babylon, the largest & most magnificent city in the ancient world. Its walls were so thick that 4 chariots could race side by side around its top. Three-hundred sixty-five guard towers & a moat fed by the River Euphrates made the city virtually impregnable.
-Entering through the Ishtar Gate, the Jewish captives were led down Processional Street, whose light blue brick walls displayed 120 white enameled lions with manes of yellow & red. The street ended at Nebuchadnezzar’s palace & the Temple of Marduk, which stood, taller than the pyramids, on what some scholars believe was the ancient site of the Tower of Babel.
-Babylon was a cultural & architectural wonder. But in the 6th Century B.C., it was no place for a devout Jew. It was foreign, idolatrous, & the home of the pagans who had plundered Jerusalem & taken them captive." (2)
*Babylon was a cultural & architectural wonder, but that was no comfort to God’s people.
-All of the splendor just reminded them of the strength of their enemy, their godless enemy who had plundered their city & carried them away as slaves.
-The Jews had lost the most precious things in their lives.
2-They were in pain because of losing, but also because they had been lied to.
*Vs. 9 mentions the false prophets that were telling the people that it would all be over in 2 years, but that was a lie.
*And it hurts to be lied to.
-By the way: Don’t deceive people!
-You are doing far more damage than you know.
3-They were in pain because they had been lied to, but also because they had left the Lord.
-Not all of them of course...
--But most of them had turned away from God.
*Time after time the Lord had warned them about their sinful rebellion, but they wouldn’t listen.
*And it brought great pain not only to their lives, but to the lives of their children, and to the innocent people who had tried to follow the Lord.
4-Sin always causes pain.
*Your pain might be from your own sin or maybe from somebody else’s sin...
--But God cares about your pain.
*Even when it’s your fault, He cares.
-He cared enough to tell these people the truth about their 70 years of captivity.
-He cared enough to send them this letter of ultimate comfort & hope from the Lord.
-He cared enough to send His Son to die on the Cross for this sinful world.
*Jesus Christ went through immeasurable physical & emotional pain for us, because He cares about our pain.
*King Duncan tells about a bridal shower, where the card on the last gift said:
-"May this always be so...
--Much love, Mother & Dad."
*The bride opened the gift, and inside a frame was an old, yellowed piece of paper with a little girl’s handwriting on it.
-It was the bride’s handwriting from years ago.
*On that long ago day she had written:
-"Today we had a test in history
-I had to go to the dentist too.
-We did not win the paper drive.
--This is the worst day I have ever had in my life."
*Mom & Dad wanted that to always be the worst day of her life.
-They wanted the best for their daughter. (3)
*And though some bad days will come to us, our Heavenly Father surely wants the best for us!
-He even wants to put a smile on your face.