International Sunday School Lesson
For Sunday September 28, 2014
Purpose: To realize that God is faithful to restore, forgive, and heal, even when we do not know which way to turn
Bible Lesson: Background: Jeremiah 33
Jeremiah 33:2-11 (CEB)
(2) The Lord proclaims, the Lord who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the Lord: (3) Call to me and I will answer and reveal to you wondrous secrets that you haven’t known.
(4) This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, proclaims about the houses of this city and the palaces of the kings of Judah that were torn down to defend against the siege ramps and weapons (5) of the invading Babylonians. They will be filled with the corpses of those slain in my fierce anger. I hid my face from the people of this city because of all their evil deeds, (6) but now I will heal and mend them. I will make them whole and bless them with an abundance of peace and security. (7) I will bring back the captives of Judah and Israel, and I will rebuild them as they were at first. (8) I will cleanse them of all the wrongdoing they committed against me, and I will forgive them for all of their guilt and rebellion. (9)Then this city will bring me great joy, praise, and renown before all nations on earth, when they hear of all the good I provide for them. They will be in total awe at all the good and prosperity I provide for them.
(10) The Lord proclaims: You have said about this place, "It is a wasteland, without humans or animals." Yet in the ravaged and uninhabited towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem, (11) the sounds of joy and laughter and the voices of the bride and the bridegroom will again be heard. So will the voices of those who say, as thank offerings are brought to the Lord’s temple, "Give thanks to the Lord of heavenly forces, for the Lord is good and his kindness lasts forever." I will bring back the captives of this land as they were before, says the Lord.
My Thoughts by Burgess Walter
The text for this week’s lesson consist of six messages from God, given to Jeremiah while he was in prison in the king of Judah’s jail in Jerusalem.
Each of these begin with a phrase such as “The Lord proclaims” “The God of Israel proclaims” “the Lord declares” or “the Lord’s word came.
The Lord challenges Jeremiah to seek His counsel and the Lord will reveal wondrous secrets that Jeremiah did not know. The Lords first revelation to Jeremiah is things seem bleak now, but there is a new day coming. There is a day coming when the Lord will heal and forgive those that have transgressed against him. Peace and security are part of God’s promise.
There are probably three different prophecies being proclaimed by the Lord to Jeremiah. The first is the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the temple, which took place under Nehemiah and Ezra. The second could be the coming of the promised Messiah, a descendent of David, where priest would be in the order of Melchizedek, and not from the lineage of Aaron. The third could be a prophecy, not yet completely fulfilled, in the establishment of the nation of Israel.
Maybe the most important thing the Lord says, is that He is as reliable as His creation. He declares at the end of this chapter “(25) The Lord proclaims: I would no sooner break my covenant with day and night or the laws of heaven and earth (26) than I would reject the descendants of Jacob and my servant David and his descendants as rulers for the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I will restore the captives and have compassion on them.”
It is never pleasant to find oneself separated from God. But the Lord assures each of us just as he did Jeremiah, restoration is always possible. God’s love is expressed in verse 11b “Give thanks to the Lord of heavenly forces, for the Lord is good and his kindness lasts forever.” I will bring back the captives of this land as they were before, says the Lord.
I am reminded of the old hymn “Revive us Again”