Friday, September 26, 2014

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday September 28, 2014

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LAUGHTER WILL RETURN
(GOD rebuilds us for HIS glory)
(Jeremiah 33:1-11)

While Jeremiah was still imprisoned by King Zedekiah of Judah, in the courtyard of the guard, and the Babylonians siege was in full effect, and pressing down on Jerusalem, the LORD came to HIS faithful prophet Jeremiah with yet a second message. It was a two-fold message of both gloom and hope for the future. Here in Jeremiah 33, verses 2-11 we find this forecast for the nation of Judah:

“This is what the Lord says—the Lord who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the Lord:  Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.  For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: You have torn down the houses of this city and even the king’s palace to get materials to strengthen the walls against the siege ramps and swords of the enemy.  You expect to fight the Babylonians, but the men of this city are already as good as dead, for I have determined to destroy them in my terrible anger. I have abandoned them because of all their wickedness.
“Nevertheless, the time will come when I will heal Jerusalem’s wounds and give it prosperity and true peace.  I will restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel and rebuild their towns.  I will cleanse them of their sins against me and forgive all their sins of rebellion.  Then this city will bring me joy, glory, and honor before all the nations of the earth! The people of the world will see all the good I do for my people, and they will tremble with awe at the peace and prosperity I provide for them.
 “This is what the Lord says: You have said, ‘This is a desolate land where people and animals have all disappeared.’ Yet in the empty streets of Jerusalem and Judah’s other towns, there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will be heard again, along with the joyous songs of people bringing thanksgiving offerings to the Lord. They will sing,
‘Give thanks to the Lord of Heaven’s Armies,
    for the Lord is good.
    His faithful love endures forever!’
For I will restore the prosperity of this land to what it was in the past, says the Lord” (NLT).

Here GOD shares a bit of “inaccessible knowledge” (“basurot” in the Hebrew) with HIS prophet, Jeremiah (v.3). The word “basurot” used here tells us that it is information that no human being can obtain, except through divine intervention. The truth is that, apart from divine intervention from GOD, no individual can have any accurate real knowledge of origins, or destinies, in this life. All of GOD’s plans are inaccessible to ordinary people, and only HE can unlock the secrets of the future.
During the midst of the Babylonian siege, the people of Jerusalem had begun to tear apart their dwellings and use the material to shore up the walls around the city. Even the king’s palace was not exempt from being picked apart, piece by piece, to be used in this desperate project. However, in verse 5 of this passage, GOD informs Jeremiah that all of their efforts would be in vain, and would not stem off the powerful onslaught of Nebuchadnezzar’s army. In fact, every man in Jerusalem was already as good as dead, says the LORD.
Beginning in verse 6, however, we see a complete shift from “warnings of destruction and doom” to “promises of restoration, joy, and peace” for Judah and Israel (Vs.6-13). They would be given prosperity and peace, have their fortunes restored, and they would be able to rebuild their torn down city of Jerusalem. GOD says that their sins will be forgiven, and their sins would run their course in Babylon after seventy years. And the LORD would rejoice as Jerusalem would once again bring glory and honor to HIS name throughout the world.
The sounds of “joy and gladness”, is something that is envisioned at almost any wedding ceremony. In verses 10-11 the LORD says don’t worry about the depressed state that you now see Jerusalem in. The way she is now, having the land desecrated, and all the people and animal killed by disease, starvation, beast, and war. In a little while, the streets will once again be filled with joy and laughter. The joyous voices of brides and bridegrooms will once again be heard in the streets of Jerusalem. And there will be joyous songs of people bringing “thanksgiving offers” to the LORD. They will sing “Give thanks to the LORD Almighty, for HE is good. HIS faithful love endures forever!”

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander




                                 
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