Longing for PEACE in the Crisis
I. Front row SEATS for a CRISIS. (v.1-16)
A. DESCRIBING the DEVASTATION. (v.1-6)
B. CRYING out for HELP. (v.7-9)
C. God’s RESPONSE. (v.10-12)
D. Looking for SOMEONE to BLAME. (v.13; 6:13-15)
E. Even MORE bad NEWS. (v.14-16)
Jeremiah watches as the southern kingdom of Israel breathes it’s last gasp. It’s hard to watch, because he loves his people and his country, and because he is suffering right along with them. God has called him to speak into these last stages of their history in Jerusalem. There’s a reason they call him the “weeping prophet.”
1. Kid’s Question: When have you watched another person get it trouble? How did you feel as it happened?
2. The first 9 verses of the text describe a very difficult time. In what ways can you identify with these words? In what ways do they seem distant from where you are right now?
3. Have you ever felt like God was only a “traveler” passing through your life? (v.8) What was that like?
4. Is God forsaking His people? (v.9) How do you respond to the way He responds to them in v.10-12 and v.16?
II. Jeremiah IDENTIFIES with his PEOPLE. (v.17-22)
A. “…We had HOPED for PEACE…” (v.19)
B. “…Our HOPE is in YOU.” (v.22)
At the end of this chapter God gives Jeremiah words to speak to the people. They are words spoken from his perspective, and give insight to how he identifies with the people in their distress. He, like them, like all of us, had hoped for peace. But that is not to be…at least not yet.
5. When have your hopes for something died? How did you feel at that moment? How did you respond?
6. Jeremiah, although a prophet of God, also strongly identifies with the people. He is one of them. How much do you “identify” with others who are suffering and struggling? Is that easy for you or a challenge?
III. WALKING with Jeremiah through ADVENT. (v.19-22)
A. IDENTIFY with the SUFFERING. (v.1-9, 18-19; Heb 4:14-15)
B. Admit our SIN and our NEED.(v.20; Lam. 3:40-42)
C. REST in the CHARACTER of God.(v.21-22; Lam. 3:22)
D. The difference between THEN and NOW. (15:1; 33:6-9; Is. 9:6; Mic. 5:5)
Our situation, despite the pandemic, may not appear as drastic, but we, like Jeremiah, live in a world full of people who are thirsty for peace, and yet nothing seems to give them what they seek. And we, like Jeremiah, are called to share God’s word with the world around us, even as we share in responsibility for the problem. But the good news is that while God was not bringing peace to Jerusalem at that point, Advent reminds us that peace did come, to Jerusalem, and beyond.
7. Rosaria Butterfield says, “Before we come to Christ, we must come to ourselves.” How does that relate to Jeremiah and the people in this text? To us?
8. In what ways can you bring the peace of Jesus into the world this week. Think of some specifics…