Transition: God wants us back. God is abundant in His mercy and grace, longsuffering, is just in His justice, will not tolerate feigned religious lip service, will be faithful to His word, and to His promises.
Romans 15:4 (NLT) 4 Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
It is a very contemporary book (Wright):
corruption is widespread in government,
false prophets ridicule Jeremiah’s message, (live in a country where anyone from comedians, journalists, social commentators, political parties, and the national broadcaster can ridicule Christianity)
idolatry is a national pastime, (gods of happiness and consumerism)
morality is in decline (sexuality, greed, moral radar)
the life of the nation gradually becoming more and more self-fulfilling of the word of God through Jeremiah.
Philip Yancey – Hope in the Hard Place of Disappointment – Disappointment with God – three questions no one asks aloud: is God unfair? Is God silent? Is God hidden? He sensed that all feelings of disappointment with God trace back to a breakdown in that relationship.
That was certainly true for Judah. They had turned their back on God while continuing their religious rituals and refusing to listen to God.
But there’s another question to ask when you get to the end of a book (not the end of the story). Was Jeremiah successful?
“It has often been remarked that Jeremiah’s life was finally a failure. He was alone for most of his ministry. It seemed that no one gave any heed to his words. He was dragged off finally to live his last days in exile against his own will. He was a failure as the world judges human achievement… [But] his words of hope finally helped his people to gain hope in God’s future for them.” Thompson
How is it you determine success? In your employment? Service to God? As a parent? As a human being?…