SEEK & FIND – JEREMIAH 29

By Rev. Dr. Jerry Schmoyer  jerry@schmoyer.net 

 http://india.christiantrainingonline.org/

 

Main Idea: god will reveal Himself to us when we put Him first i

 

INTRODUCTION

 

GOOD EVENING

My name is AVRAHAM (ah-vrah- HAHM)אַבְרָהָם

            Sounds like AbraHAM – named after him

            Parents wanted to instill in me the importance of

following God

                        Abraham faced many tests & trials

                        Parents knew I would as well

                                    Not easy time to raise a family – nation

going downhill fast

 

But I’m not here to talk about myself this evening

            Talk about my good friend Jeremiah

                        Even more than that about our God JEHOVAH

 

We’ve heard it said that God loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives.

It’s easy to agree when we like the plan.

But sometimes, God’s plan turns out to be different than what we were thinking.

BIRTH OF HANDICAPPED CHILD, changes whole life
LOSS OF JOB, can’t find another

MATE GETS CANCER, pray, gets worse

 

SAME THING to us Jews in 597 BC

            NATION about to be destroyed for their sin and rebellion against God

 

GOD SENT A PROPHET TO WARN THEM – JEREMIAH



 

JEREMIAH THE MAN

yirmeyahu abbreviated to yirmeyah = “Yahweh hurls” or “Yahweh founds

 

Hilkiah – father a priest – godly upbringing

            most priests unfaithful, Jeremiah & father were

 

called by God when about 20, 13th year of King Josiah  627 BC

I was from same hometown and knew him growing up

Among very few Jewish boys who wanted to obey law and

follow God

            moved to Jerusalem to minister to capital of nation

 

Gentle, tender, sympathetic – loved his people (who hated him)

Went through much pain and suffering  “Weeping Prophet”

 

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND LEADING UP TO CAPTIVITY

 

MINISTERED as prophet until Jerusalem destroyed  586 BC – 41 years

under Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, Zedekiah

 

JOSIAH found Law (Gen-Deut), reinstituted it

            Many opposed, ridiculed Jeremiah for supporting it

            Own relatives said he was a dangerous fanatic

 

Other kings less godly

            Jeremiah prophesy, warn them about idolatry, false

prophets, immorality, greed

            Jeremiah physically abused, threatened, tried to kill

several times

 

WEEPING PROPHET

            Not ‘leaping prophet’

            Sin & consequences broke his heart

            Broke God’s heart as well

 

DIDN’T THINK THEIR COUNTRY WOULD EVER FALL (like you feel USA)

God always comes through for them

            -misery in Egypt, God sends Moses and leads them out,

through Red Sea

            -40 years later leads into Promised Land under Joshua

            -2 Kings 19 Assyrian army invaded, people scared,

Hezekiah prayed killed, 185,000

God will come through again

            -Babylonians invade, all the prophets say God will

destroy Babylon (false prophets)

 

CAPTIVITY ITSELF

1. In 605 B.C.

2. In 601 B.C.

 

LEADERS OF ISRAEL taken to Babylon captive

Lesser men took their place, continued to rebel Babylon

Jeremiah told them to submit – seemed like unpatriotic,

But what he had been saying for 30 years was right!

                        Jeremiah 29 during this time

                        Things then get WORSE

 

3. Final rebellion, Jerusalem destroyed 586 BC

JERUSALEM UNDER SIEGE – much suffering inside

            People took it out on Jeremiah, cruel prison, accused of being a traitor

Some fled to Egypt – took Jeremiah as prisoner, died in Egypt almost 80 years old

            Ministered faithfully for 50 years

 

I wasn’t with him when he died.  I was thousands of miles away in Assyria.

Jeremiah gave me a letter to take to the Jews in capt

Just before final destruction, Jeremiah taken to

Egypt

Honor & privilege he’d entrust me with such an

important document

Later became part of your Bible – Jeremiah 29

 

TRANSITION

Our focus: Jeremiah 29 – Jerusalem 2nd defeat, deportation

 

JEREMIAH 29

 

LETTER TO THE CAPTIVES IN BABYLON:

     SETTLE IN AND STAY, THERE A LONG TIME

            False prophets: home within 2 years

            God, no, 70 years!

 

JEREMIAH 29 LETTER

NOT get discouraged, quit

            Don’t demand God change circumstances so live easier

NOT to fight, oppose Babylonians where live

NOT believe false prophets who say you’ll be back in a year or

2 so don’t settle in

BUT to settle in, make the best of it, live peaceful lives of

prosperity

            Not be bitter, resentful, difficult

But to adjust to life with unbelievers, be good example, even if unfair/unjust

US: “love your enemies,” not bitter toward them

 

TRANSITION

God’s word through Jeremiah to us back them apply to you today

 

JEREMIAH 29:1-3 tells about how and why this letter was written

                         4-23 give the whole letter

            Lift out one particular section that is heart of God’s message then and now:

 

10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my gracious promise to bring you back to this place.

 

Prophecy Daniel Knew, watched coming

Deliverance not coming quickly – but is coming eventually!

 

 

 

GREAT THINGS GOD DID during these 70 years

            Daniel ministered, great impact on Babylon & Assyria for hundreds of years

                        Magi come to see Baby Jesus

            Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael also greatly used, role models of faith (fiery furnace

            Nebuchadnezzar a believer  (Dan 4:37)

            Old Testament books written during this time

                        2 Kings                      Ezekiel

                        Lamentations            Daniel

                        Jeremiah                   Psalm 137

                       

            *Jews started seeing need to repent, get right with God

                        400 years in Egypt to do this, 70 years here

I could see it happening

 

11 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.

 

plansGod thinks about us all the time

I wondered Always thinking of us-because He loves us (like we have plans for our children)

God has plans for us  Not just thoughts –Rom 8:28

They are plans to bring us GOOD THINGS

            NOT by change in circumstances, immediate defeat of enemies and return

            BUT by change within heart

 

Ps 40:5 Many, O Lord  my God,

are the wonders you have done.

The things you planned for us

no one can recount to you;

were I to speak and tell of them,

they would be too many to declare.

 

God knows the plans He has, we don’t know them!

            But God knows our tomorrows better than we know our

yesterdays!

Top of a tall building looking down and watching parade go by below

 

 Jeremiah 31:31, 34  “The time is coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.

630 YEARS LATER God ratified this covenant by sending Jesus to die on cross for us

            God kept His promise, will keep future ones

 

Psalm 139:16 says “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

MY REACTION TO THIS

 

Prosper, not harm God wants to PROSPER us

God gives us what we NEED, not what we WANT

He gives what would have asked for if knew all He knows!

Why do some think God wants to harm them?

If God doesn’t give you what you pray for its because He has

something FAR BETTER

We can’t always tell what is prosperous and what isn’t

HORSE, 15 WILD HORSES, BROKEN LEG,

 

hope and a future   God wants to give us HOPE & A FUTURE

 

ETERNAL SECURITY

Eph 4:30  And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

 

Seal = guarantee (ring in hot wax, like nortary public seal)

Holy Spirit is like the NOTARY PUBLIC.  He helps to guarantee the accuracy of the signature, and if necessary will testify in court.

 

When a piece of registered mailis mailed from a post office, it is sealed until delivered. Actually, only two persons can open registered mail – the sender (if it is returned to him) and the designated recipient.

 

Holy Spirit in us guarantees God signed our salvation with the blood of Jesus – eternally secure

 

“I give to them (Christians) eternal life and they shall never perish.  No one can snatch them out of my hand.  My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my father’s hand.”  John 10:28-9

 

WE ARE SECURE BECAUSE:

“It is a trustworthy statement: … If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.”

“A battered reed He will not break off, and a smoldering wick He will not put out.”  Mt 12:20, quoting Isa 42:3

“Christ, who has begun a good work in you, will carry it on to completion as the day of Christ Jesus.”  Ph 1:6

“Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will not take into account.”  Romans 4:1-12 (v. 8 here),

“In all these thins we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us, For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom 8:37-9

“I give to them (Christians) eternal life and they shall never perish.  No one can snatch them out of my hand.  My father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of my father’s hand.”  John 10:28-9

            “Eternal” life already a possession now

            “Given” – sheep just receive it unconditionally

            Jesus says we will “Never” perish – “NEVER” = ou ma

strongest Greek negative

            Secure in Christ’s hand, none can open it – “NO ONE” =

Satan or man himself

BIRTH, born again, new babies, etc – Can’t be UNborn

SONSHIP & ADOPTION – Can’t change being physical son, irreversible

CARNAL BELIEVERS – Christians living by flesh, sin;           still believers, didn’t lose salvation

LOST SHEEP stray from flock, but still legally part of that flock no matter what

GIFT – nothing to earn/deserve, nothing to lose

PETER denied Christ 3 times, never lost salvation

 

BLESSINGS IN CHRIST

 

2 Cor 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!

Eph 1:3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Eph 1:4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love

Eph 1:5 he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—

Eph 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

 

12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

 

ThenIt will take captivity 70 years for them to repent, turn, call on God

 

call upon me and come and pray to me   prayer, BELL IN HEAVEN

Prayer not PREPARATION for the battle/ministry, prayer IS the battle/ministry!

 

I will listen to you.   Promise!!!

I RELY on this promise all the time

 

13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

 

Seek ME – not seek my blessings!      PARENTS want children to love them

 

Seek = hunger and thirst – Like deer pants for streams of water,

 

OT  Deuteronomy 4:29 But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.

    

NT  Matt 7:7-8  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Seek with all your heart  

HOW MUCH YOU SEEK SOMETHING SHOWS HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO YOU

I loose something, look for it – the more important the harder I look!!!

 

Matt 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.

COST: “SOLD EVERYTHING HE HAD”  head may seek God, heart than finds him.

 

Phil 3:7-11   But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8 What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ — the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10 I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

 

findGod waiting to be found, never hiding, always up to us

 

14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

 

JEWS LOOK FORWARD to returning to home land, temple, God’s presence and blessing

I looked forward to returning to Jerusalem – Jeremiah again – never did – heaven

 

YOU LOOK FORWARD to going to our home in heaven

 

We all go into places of captivity – Our own fault,      Not our fault – God behind, uses them all

 

HOW TO HANDLE LIVING IN ’CAPTIVITY’ TODAY?

 

READ Jeremiah 29:10-14

 

ACCEPT IT AS FROM HAND OF A LOVING GOD WHO HAS PLAN

DISCIPLINE – to turn us from sin (repent and it turns to suffering) –             Reap what we sow

 

SUFFERING – mature us, stretch us, opportunity to trust God, others see God in us

 

Either way, submit to it, don’t fight it, don’t complain, blame, try to force God

            Don’t fight the Babylonians, submit and trust

 

Our heavenly Father longs for us to be significant parts of His story.

 

GIVE UP FALSE HOPES OF A QUCK FIX OR EASY WAY OUT

Don’t listen to the false prophets today

Keep faith in God no matter what

 

SEEK GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, 100%

 

MATE: seek 110% with all heart, not partly or won’t find

 

Ps 145:17 The Lord  is righteous in all his ways

and loving toward all he has made.

18 The Lord  is near to all who call on him,

to all who call on him in truth.

19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;

he hears their cry and saves them.

20 The Lord  watches over all who love him,

but all the wicked he will destroy.

 

 

CONCLUSION

We’ve heard it said that God loves us and has a wonderful plan for our lives.

It’s easy to agree when we like the plan.
But sometimes, God’s plan turns out to be different than what we were thinking.

 

Seek God with all your heart

Him first in all things in life

 

DON’T WRITE YOUR STORY AND ASK GOD TO EDIT IT – LET GOD WRITE YOUR STORY, WITH NO EDITING!

We write our own story and want God to edit it

          God doesn’t want to be your editor but AUTHOR

                   GOOD PLANS for us– prosper us

 

He will incorporate all of the little chaptersof our lives – whether we see them as triumphs or tragedies – into His epic story.

 

Not all the chapters will be easy. Don’t try to edit what He writes!

 

But God promises that the last chapterwill make sense of all the others if we let Him write our story. 

 

 

 

C t O Rev. Dr. JERRY SCHMOYER
Christian Training Organization
jerry@ChristianTrainingOrganization.org
| ChristianTrainingOnline.org
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