November 24, 2013
Jeremiah 29:1, 4-14
Key Verses: “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. Then when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you.” Jeremiah 29:11-12
Time: around 626 BCE
Background: Jeremiah preached to Israel at a time when its faith in God had been utterly shaken. In just ten short years, its captor, the Babylonian empire, destroyed three traditions that had cemented its faith. First, King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the kingly succession promised to King David. Second, he destroyed the temple. Third, he destroyed the people’s belief that Israel was indestructible.
Each of these led the people to wonder whether God was still with them. The prophet, Jeremiah, spoke to them during this crisis of faith and identity. He told them these events had been caused by God as punishment. It was their own lack of faith that had caused God’s judgment to come upon them. Even so, through the words of Jeremiah, the people had hope that God would restore them one day.
Community: On what certainties does your community of faith operate? What would be compromised if its faith was shaken?
At Home: What threatens to shake your faith? Begin one new ritual or practice this week that you could call upon in times of trial.
Read This Week:
Monday, Nov 25, Jeremiah’s Call, Jeremiah 1:4-19
Tuesday, Nov 26, God Pleads with Israel to Repent, Jeremiah 2:1-8
Wednesday, Nov 27, Unfaithful Israel, Jeremiah 3:1-5
Thursday, Nov 28, Restoration Promised for Israel and Judah, Jeremiah 30:1-9
Friday, Nov 29, The Joyful Return of the Exiles, Jeremiah 31:1-6
Saturday, Nov 30, A New Covenant, Jeremiah 31:31-37
Next Week: Sunday, Dec 1, Fiery Furnace, Daniel 3:1, 8-30