Monday, February 20, 2017

Encouragement (Part 1): Week 6, Day 1

Well, sisters, we have made it to the last week of this study.  You have been so faithful to learning the ways of the Lord.  This will be our last week of studying Encouragement in the Old Testament.

Today we are going to OBSERVE Jeremiah 29:1-14.  Over and over again in Scripture, God is revealing His plan for the redemption of a fallen world.  In the Old Testament times God used prophets to speak directly to His people.  He had used the prophet Jeremiah to warn the people to turn from their wicked ways, repent of their sins, and return to the Lord.  The people refused to do so, so their punishment was a 70 year exile from Jerusalem to Babylon.

Jeremiah 29 is written after the people had been taken to Babylon.  Read the passage slowly, absorbing the words.  Don't try to understand it now, that will come with time.  Just read to see what the words are saying.
29 Now these are the words of the letter which Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the exile, the priests, the prophets and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. 
(This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the court officials, the princes of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen and the smiths had departed from Jerusalem.) 
The letter was sent by the hand of Elasah the son of Shaphan, and Gemariah the son of Hilkiah, whom Zedekiah king of Judah sent to Babylon to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, saying, 
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon, 
Build houses and live in them; and plant gardens and eat their produce. 
Take wives and become the fathers of sons and daughters, and take wives for your sons and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; and multiply there and do not decrease. 
Seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf; for in its welfare you will have welfare.’ 
For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Do not let your prophets who are in your midst and your diviners deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams which they dream. 
For they prophesy falsely to you in My name; I have not sent them,’ declares the Lord.
10 “For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. 
11 For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 
12 Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 
13 You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. 
14 I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission." 

Now read the passage again, and use the following markings:
  • Mark God and Lord with a purple triangle colored yellow (color all pronouns yellow)
  • Mark Jerusalem and Israel with a blue star of  David
  • Mark Babylon with a green B
  • Mark all time phrases with a green clock
  • Circle the word "for" in verse 11 and the word "because" in verse 19 red

Now that you have marked the text, read the passage again.  Jeremiah 29:11 is a very familiar verse of Scripture, and one of my favorites.  Copy this verse into your notebook and be encouraged with it's message.

Our next study will look at INTERPRETING this passage of Scripture.
To read the previous posts on Encouragement, click these links:
Week 1: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 2: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 3: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 4: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3
Week 5: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3

1 comment:

Thanks for your comment. I will review every comment before they are posted to this blog.