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When Suffering Consequences of Sin: The Expected End

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JEREMIAH 29
Lesson #28
WHEN SUFFERING THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN: The Expected End

  • Memory Verse: Heb 12:11
  • Jeremiah chapter 29 is a light of encouragement to all those people taken captive in 606 BC and in 597 BC.
    • Even though many people were already captive in Babylon, God still cared for them.
    • God wanted them to know that even though they were suffering the judgment of God, He still loved them. He still had concern about their eternal destiny.
  • Read Jer 29:1-7
    • The letter of encouragement to the captive Israelites already in Babylon:
      • Jeremiah sent a letter of encouragement to the captives in Babylon by means of King Zedekiah’s ambassadors to Babylon.
      • Those people suffering the consequences of their sin of idolatry should adapt themselves to their new environment in Babylon. The time for rebellion against God and Babylon is over.
      • The people should build houses, plant gardens, get married, and have children. In other words, they should adapt themselves to a normal life.
      • Seek peace in their relationships and they will find peace.
    • Why does God tell them to adapt to their new environment?
      • The messages in Jeremiah tell us that God sent them into captivity as punishment for their sins.
      • However, He also sent them into captivity to protect them from death that came in 586 BC when Babylon finally destroyed Israel, Jerusalem, and the temple.
        • This is an interesting concept to contemplate:
        • When situations appear negative for the believer, they are not necessarily negative in God’s sight.
          • This is where the believer must have faith in the sovereignty of God that He knows what He is doing.
          • In God’s sovereignty He will work all things for good to the believer in the end. (Rom 8:28)

For the Israelites, God had promises not yet fulfilled. He needed to preserve a remnant of Israelites so as to bless them with the promises He gave to Abraham and David.

The Israelites will reap the blessings of God in the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ after the event of the second coming.

  • Read Jer 29:8-14
    • Words of warning to the captive Israelites:
      • While they were in the Promised Land, Jeremiah warned them against all the false prophets that lied and deceived the people into complacency.
      • Some of those false prophets were with them in the Babylonian captivity.
        • They should have been able to discern the true prophets from the false prophets. How?
          • The false prophets told them that nothing bad would happen to them, and yet, here they were suffering under slavery.
          • The false prophets told them that their captivity would end in two years, but God told them it would last for 70 years. (10)
        • Jeremiah warns them not to listen to these false prophets.
    • The words of warning to those already in captivity include God’s ultimate purpose: (11)
      • God has good blessings in mind for them.
      • God will hear their prayers. (12)
      • They must seek God with their whole heart. (13) God still wants an intimate relationship with His people. He wants to restore them. (14)
        • The same purpose is true of the New Testament believer.
        • When we suffer the punishment of the consequences of our sins, we should not kick against the consequences in rebellion. Instead we should embrace the consequences of our sin as a teaching tool. Notice that Jeremiah says there is “an expected end”. (11)
        • Read Psa 103:1-22
          • We see the “expected end” in Psa 103,
          • The consequences of suffering for sin should:

….move us to obedience to the Lord.

We should remember that disobedience brought consequences into our lives.

We should gain a new determination of obedience.

….promote in us a teachable spirit.

The believer always should have a teachable spirit so as to mature in his walk with the Lord.

Only by means of a teachable spirit can the Holy Spirit change your character.

….produce in us a platform on which God can do His best work of restoration.

God is in the business of restoration when there is repentance.

The promised blessings of restoration motivate the believer to move on with God.

The consequences of suffering for sin should encourage us to look back at how and why we failed to be obedient to God.

We need to learn that hiding a sin delays discovery

We need to learn that delay and hiding a sin adds severity to the punishment.

The consequences of suffering for sin should encourage us to look forward to what God will do now.

The results of a proper attitude suffering under the consequences of sin:

Remember that God rewards faith. (Heb 11:6)

Remember that God is a God of restoration.

Remember that God is a God of ultimate blessing to those who by faith move forward with God.

Remember that suffering the consequences of sin does not mean God has forsaken you. (Deu 32:10-12)

God will encircle you and guard you.

God will care for you.

God will guide you.

        • Read Heb 12:5-13
          • Notice that Hebrews talks about peace with God instead of bitterness, anger, and rebellion.
          • Notice that Hebrews talks about restoration and encouragement.
  • Read Jer 29:15-23
    • The message to those Israelites not yet in captivity in Babylon (16-18)
      • They will soon see the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple in 586 BC.
      • Many will die in that last destruction of the nation.
    • Jeremiah refers to these people still in Jerusalem as “bad figs”. (17) That phrase refers back to Jeremiah’s message about the basket of good figs and the basket of bad figs in chapter 24. (Lesson #25)
    • God will deal with the false prophets in Babylon and the false prophets in Jerusalem (20-32)
      • After Jeremiah sent this encouraging letter to the captives in Babylon, the false prophets there in Babylon discounted his words.
      • The people in Babylon asked, “Why would God raise up a prophet in Jerusalem to send us a message when there are prophets in Babylon?” (15)
      • In other words, the people still listened to the false prophets that went into captivity with them.
    • Two false prophets, Zedekiah and Ahab (22)
      • Their sins were speaking lies and saying they were the words of God.
      • Their sins were immorality and corruption. They could not condemn these sins without condemning themselves.
      • King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had them burned by fire for sedition and rebellion.
      • In other words, God had told them to live peaceably in Babylon.
      • For these men to initiate rebellion was opposed to the Word of God sent by Jeremiah.
      • The names of these two false prophets became a well-known model of sedition in Babylon. Nebuchadnezzar made an example of them.(22)
  • Read Jer 29:24-32
    • The false prophet Shemiah in Babylon. (24)
      • The name Shemiah means = dreamer. All of his words were from his dreams and visions.
      • Shemiah was so angry with Jeremiah’s words that he wrote an answer to the other priests and false prophets in Jerusalem condemning Jeremiah.
      • Jehoiada was the high priest under good King Josiah. Remember he was Josiah’s father and had found the Word of God in the temple.
      • However, he did not get to complete his term of office because he was taken captive to Babylon.
      • Instead after that, Zephaniah became the high priest.
      • Shemiah encourages the priest Zedekiah in Jerusalem to persecute and imprison Jeremiah. However, Zedekiah does not immediately act on Shemiah’s command which angers Shemiah.
      • Instead of persecuting Jeremiah, the high priest, Zephaniah, reads Shemiah’s letter to Jeremiah to reveal to him his enemies.
      • Zephaniah favored Jeremiah with protection.
    • Through Jeremiah, God pronounced judgment on Shemiah, who was also burned in Babylon.

Homework
Jeremiah 30

  • Application of Jer 29
    • Are you living through some specific consequence of a sin in your life?
    • If you have not repented of this sin, you should do so in prayer.
      • Know that God is faithful to forgive those who repent. (1Joh 1:9)
      • Know that because you are living under the consequences of sin does not mean you are not forgiven.
      • Sometimes God removes the consequences on repentance and sometimes He does not. Why?
        • God means everything for good to those that love Him, even the consequences of sin.
        • Ask yourself, “What should you learn through the consequences that you suffer?”
        • When you figure out what you should learn from it, you will be able to see the reason for it and give Him praise for His patience to teach you.
  • Preparation for Jer 30
    • Read Jer 30:1-24
      • Of what period of time does this chapter predominately speak? How do you know?
  • Memory Verse: Jer 30:22
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