READ: Jeremiah 33:12-16; Luke 1:46-56
- This is a seriously difficult season for God’s people, Israel. Jerusalem has been destroyed. The key leaders of Israel have been taken to Babylon and are in exile. The promise of God is that it will only last 70 years (Jeremiah 29:10), but that sounds like forever (2 generations). The promise of a homeland dated back nearly a millennium when God made his promise to Abraham.
- The very next chapter (Jeremiah 34) rehearses the destruction of Jerusalem and promises the death of King Zedekiah. It was a season of despair and legitimate gloom. Such a deep sense of despondency hardly resonates with Americans. We’ve never lost our land. Never, in modern history, fought a war on our own land. We’ve been devastated by random terrorist attacks, but we’ve never lost our capital.
- Movies like White House Down, Olympus Has Fallen or Independence Day have preyed on our national pride and stirred our loyalties. But, they are just movies. They cause us to wonder, but they also seek to encourage us to believe we are really invulnerable to such events. 9/11 was a wake-up call and stirred our emotions. But, imagine how we might feel if that jet downed in Pennsylvania had made it back to Washington?
- Reflect on the sense of despair that Israel may have been experiencing.
- How can we empathize with such despair, given the basic freedoms and strengths that we experience as a nation?
- How would you respond to the idea of 70 years of captivity as a promise of eventual release?
PRAY: Thank God for being present in your life (whether you recognize it or not). Pray that you can understand the depths of despair that some people feel. Ask God to give you an appreciation for the good that surrounds you.