Lent 2021 – I am broken, but loved by God

Jeremiah 35:1-19

Lent 2021 – I am broken, but loved by God

Week 3 – An Old Testament Real Life Parable

I. An unusual STORY, to say the LEAST. (v.1-11)
A. WHO are the RECABITES? (2 Kings 10:23-26)
B. An INVITE from the PROPHET. (v.1-3)
C. A STRANGE request and an EXPECTED response. (v.4-11)

I have to admit…when I read this passage I decided to preach on it just because it was so weird. I wanted to see what this passage has to say to us today. I’m happy to report it speaks loudly, but you have to start by digging into what is actually happening before you can get to the why.

1. Kids Question: What is something that you’ve read in the Bible that seemed weird or strange to you?
2. When you first read this passage what was your response and why? What are some ways that we can we better sit with a text and learn from it?

II. I SEE what you DID there. (v.1-11)
A. God is a VISUAL and EXPERIENTIAL teacher. (v.1-11)
B. The PEOPLE God CHOOSES. (v.3)
C. The SETTINGS God USES. (v.4)

Sometimes it’s not just what gets said, but it’s HOW what gets said gets said. The way God sets this up has a lot to say to all of us. He has a way, all throughout the Bible, of teaching through concrete objects and events. This story is no different.

3. What are some of the other ways in the Bible that God teaches the Jews (and us) using visual, tactile, or experiential ways?
4. What stands out to you about the location of the room used for the “wine tasting”? What small “details” have you seen God care about in your own life?

III. INTERPRETING the real life PARABLE. (v.12-19)
A. The CONTRAST brings CLARITY. (v.12-16)
C. The PRACTICE of OBEDIENCE. (v.17-19)

In verses 12 to 19 Jeremiah goes on to explain why this event was set up and what it has to say to the people all around it. The faithfulness of the Recabites to their tradition brings in to focus the unfaithfulness and hard hearts of the Israelites.

5. What are some of the things that you will always do because they’re a part of your tradition or heritage?
6. What are some of the things that God seems pretty clear about that the church still struggles to obey today?

IV. You could LEARN a lot from a RECABITE. (v.19)
A. God SPEAKS in many WAYS. (Ps. 19:1-4; Heb. 1:1-2)
B. His WORD exposes our INCONSISTENCIES. (Heb. 4:12-13; James 1:22-24)
C. OBEDIENCE is for our GOOD. (Deut. 10:12-13; James 1:25)

Like most parables, the meaning keeps coming and applies across time. There are several things for us to learn from the Recabites and this gathering in a private room of the temple.

7. What is God saying to you specifically through this text? How will you respond?
8. Do you understand obedience to God as for your own good or more about Godhaving control? If it’s for your own good why is obedience sometimes difficult?

“Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.”
~ Malcolm Muggeridge