Jeremiah - A Story of Hope - Eastwood Sermon Series
Jeremiah speaks to a time when people are turning away from God and watches as his society suffers the devastating consequences of life without God. As such, Jeremiah speaks powerfully into our day. In the 1960s, Francis Schaeffer writes: ‘Jeremiah provides us with an extended study of an era like our own, where men have turned away from God and society has become post-Christian.’ Today we are reaping the consequences.
Born into a priestly family, Jeremiah writes in the turbulent period leading to the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. His message centres on God’s relationship with his unfaithful people, Israel. God is like a faithful husband and Israel his bride. His relationship is built on a covenant he made with her in the wilderness when He led her out of Egypt. But Israel now turns away from God and defiles that relationship by incorporating false gods into their worship. Jeremiah warns of coming judgement. God’s patience is running out and he will send the Babylonian to judge his people. But for the most part, the people refuse to listen. They put their trust in the trappings and symbols of their religion. They listen to the false prophet who oppose Jeremiah. His message against them is bleak. God will judge Israel and the surrounding nations, and then even Babylon whom God uses to judge Israel. In this bleakness, a message of hope shines through. God remembers his unbreakable promise first made to their ancestor Abraham to bless his descendants and through them, the whole world. God promises to raise up a new king who will shepherd his people. He will make a new covenant with his people and write his law on their heart so that they will obey him. Jeremiah therefore looks forward to the coming of Jesus who will fulfils these promises. The message of Jeremiah is ultimately one of hope. God’s sovereign purpose will not fail. We need to hear this more than ever today.