Bethel Baptist Church
Worship Service @ Home
19 February 2023
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jer.29:11 (Part 1)
Jeremiah lived during one of the most difficult, traumatic and depressing times in all of Israel’s history up to that point in time. A time leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. Jeremiah is the longest book in the Bible, with 33,203 Hebrew words and contains his messages both of judgment, and of hope, and promise for the future of which our text is one. God thoroughly prepares His people for the task that lies ahead and for that to which He will calls them.
Jeremiah was the son a of priestly family (Jer 1:1), born around 650 BC in a town called Anatoth a few miles from Jerusalem. The Lord called him in the 13th year of the reign of Josiah (Jer 1:2), around 628/27 BC:
The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.“Jer. 1:4-5
Jeremiah would have been around 22 years of age at the time so we can understand his initial reaction,
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”Jer 1:6
But the Lord was having none of it:
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out His hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”Jer 1:7-10
Jeremiah lived through many terrible events and the Lord gave him many difficult messages to speak which made him very unpopular with kings, false prophets and priests, and people in general so much so that a group rounded on him with the king’s permission (Jer 38:5) and threw him into a cistern, where he started to sink in mud and eventually die of starvation. But the Lord rescued him through a Cushite called Ebed-Melek interceding with the king who summoned 30 men to rescue Jeremiah. Out of all this hardship, pain, difficulties, threats to his life, however, came something divine, something beautiful, something that would last eternally e.g. Jeremiah 29:11.
We have a cross at home above the door leading from the lounge into the kitchen and right there in the middle of the cross are these words
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”Jeremiah 29:11
There is no more fitting place for those words to be placed than right there at the heart of the cross, for the cross totally ensures that we have a very bright and glorious future to all those who trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, they are saved and saved forever, and they not only have life but have life to the full and life eternal, both now and forevermore, Amen!
Quote of the week
“The loftier the building, the deeper the foundations must be”
Thomas a Kempis
Verse of the week
Being confident of this that He who begun a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.Philippians 1:6
Heavenly Father, thank You for the great future we all have in Jesus Christ, Amen!