Friday, September 5, 2014

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday September 7, 2014

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A PROMISE ASSURED
(Trust in the LORD’s purpose)
(Jeremiah 30)

Jeremiah chapters 30-33 focus on a period about eighteen months prior to the end of the Babylonian siege on Jerusalem in early 586 B.C. These chapters contain some of the most critical prophesies in all of Old Testament scripture. In this section (chapter 30) Jeremiah reveals a stunning vision (encouraging, especially for that seemingly hopeless time period) of God’s plans for Israel’s future. Here he reveals that GOD will bring, both, northern Israel and Judah, back from their captivities, and restore them to prominence in their GOD-given homeland (Vs.1-3).
In verse 2 GOD instructs Jeremiah to write down, for the record, everything HE had said to him, in a book, so that the exiles would have access to HIS promises after the fall of Jerusalem. These writings would stand as a “ray of hope” until the day when GOD would restore HIS people back in the former land of Canaan.
In verses 4-7 the LORD tells Jeremiah, concerning Israel and Judah distress, that:

“I hear cries of fear;
    there is terror and no peace.
 Now let me ask you a question:
    Do men give birth to babies?
Then why do they stand there, ashen-faced,
    hands pressed against their sides
    like a woman in labor?
In all history there has never been such a time of terror.
    It will be a time of trouble for my people Israel.
    Yet in the end they will be saved!

Here the LORD wants Jeremiah to inform Israel that there will be a time of national distress before HE returns her to their homeland. There will be cries of fear and distress heard among all the exiles in Babylon. Their pain and anguish would be comparable to that of a woman during childbirth, and would be like none anytime before that time. GOD says it will be “a time of trouble and tribulation” for Israel.
In this passage, GOD is not only speaking just of their time in Babylon, because northern Israel, who had already been in captivity in Assyria for over a hundred years, would not be suffering through it. Here GOD is speaking of a future “tribulation period” when the remnants of Israel and Judah will both experience a time of unparalleled persecution (Daniel 9:27 & 12:1, Matthew 24:15-22). That period will end when CHRIST returns to “make the world a better place”, forming HIS “Millennial Kingdom” here on earth. Those who are able to survive those times, CHRIST said then, and GOD says here, “will be saved”. This shoots a hole in the theory of those who say that “the Church” (GOD’s people) will not have to go through the “Great Tribulation” period.
In verses 8-9 GOD says:

For in that day,”
    says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
“I will break the yoke from their necks
    and snap their chains.
Foreigners will no longer be their masters.
   For my people will serve the Lord their God
and their king descended from David—
    the king I will raise up for them.

GOD broke the yoke of slavery that was controlled by their enemies, the Babylonians (foreigners), but in the eschatological sense, for those living in this day and age, GOD broke the yoke of slavery (satan) called “sin and death”, through the vicarious sacrifice of our LORD and SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST, and so now we must serve only GOD and CHRIST JESUS.
GOD said that HE would destroy all the nations to which HIS people had been scattered, and that HE would return them to a situation of total peace and security (Vs.10-11). But first HE had to remedy our humanly incurable wound called “sin”, and there was no one on earth who could help us, not our friends, and not any medicine. And so GOD healed and remedied our problem by sending HIS only begotten SON, CHRIST JESUS, the great HEALER (Vs.12-17).
GOD’s restoration for Israel in biblical times, involved a physical rebuilding. In this day and age it involves a spiritual rebuilding. In verses 18-22 GOD says the city of Jerusalem would be rebuilt on its ruins, and this included the King’s palace, and that there would be joy and songs of thanksgiving to GOD. There would, once again, be great prosperity in the land, and whoever harmed, or try to harm HIS people would be punished.
Verse 21, however, speaks of an eschatological time when our only ruler will be CHRIST JESUS, and HE, as we know, can approach GOD whenever HE wants, because HE is GOD. And if we are to be GOD’s people, in this day and age, we must first become one with CHRIST.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
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