But there is a verse (v 4) in this chapter that just jumped off the page at me this morning.
“Yet hear the word of the Lord, O Zedekiah! Thus says the Lord concerning you…”
The reality was that things were going to be bad. Consequences for disobedience and unfaithfulness were coming. And it was going to hurt.
But it was not going to be the death of Zedekiah.
He was not going to die by the sword of his enemy. He would die in peace and be buried with dignity just like his father before him.
👉 I won’t pretend to know what hard thing you’re going through. Life is difficult on so many different levels for different people. Some of it is due to our own disobedience, some due to the sins of others, and some just the result of living in a broken world.
But – here is what the Lord promises his people – this will not be the death of you.
Whatever place of hardship you find yourself – no matter how bad it looks – no matter how bad it hurts – the way through is to hear and take to heart the Word of the Lord concerning you.
take a place of waste and make it a place of worship (v 10-11)
[Now – that will preach right there. It’s a whole message all by itself. Only God, y’all, can take a place of devastation and waste and make it a place of celebration and worship. I don’t know what your waste place is right now – that place in your heart or home that just seems empty – but the Lord can make it all brand new.]
once again fill the land with peace and prosperity (v 12)
bring restoration and mercy (v 26)
👉 And here is my favorite part.
Before God declares all of these things – he first reminds them of who he is and what he has already done.
Thus says the Lord…
who made the earth.
who formed it and established it.
whose name is the Lord.
who is the God of Israel.
👉 I don’t know your current struggle. I don’t know what place of waste you find yourself.
But I know who God is and I know what he is capable of doing for you.
I know he can turn waste into worship.
I know he can turn pain into peace and prosperity.
I know that – in him – restoration and mercy are found.
Because he is God and nothing is too difficult for him.
👉 Jeremiah is in prison and the people are headed into exile.
Things look bad. Dark. Grim. Dare I say – hopeless.
But listen to the promise of the Lord…
“Houses and fields and vineyards shall again be bought in this land.”
It doesn’t look that way now. And – even ten chapters from now – it won’t look that way.
The Lord promises an end to the exile. And there will be life and growth and fruitfulness – not in a new land – but in “this land.” The land that belonged to them. The land that they loved. Their land.
👉 And from a prison cell, Jeremiah prayed, “Ah, Lord God…”
you are creator
nothing is too hard for you
you are great and mighty
you are great in counsel
your eyes are open
👉 And God promised, “I will…”
bring them back
make them dwell in safety
give them one heart
make a covenant with them
not turn away
rejoice in doing them good
plant them in faithfulness
I don’t know what your exile looks like. What dark place you find yourself. But – don’t forget what your God has said…
“I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?”