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Series Theme:   Studies in "Introduction to Jeremiah" 5/5  (Mixed)
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Introduction to Jeremiah Part 5 - Jeremiah's Message of Hope


A. The God of Restoration:

     Throughout the Bible there is a message of hope. The Lord is always planning to bring good out of bad. Even before the foundation of the world, the Lord planned for Jesus to come to redeem mankind that he knew would fall (see Eph 1:4).

     So far in these studies we have seen God's words of warning coming again and again to Judah . The future appears bleak as the people refuse to heed these warnings. However, throughout prophecy, and Jeremiah is no exception, there is a thread of hope that keeps coming through. These present people may be destroyed but Israel still has a future.

     When God said to Abraham, "All the land that you see I will give it to you and your offspring for ever" (Genesis 13:15 ), He meant it. He meant a clear geographical area which would be of no benefit to the church, the spiritual Israel . It had to be for the physical Israel , and although He would scatter them as at the exile, and in AD70, He would bring them back again, just as he did after the exile and just as He has done in modern history


B. What we will see :

  In the studies in the next part we will see :

- the promise of restoration after the exile

- the promise of a "righteous Branch", one who would come to save his 


- a reiteration that the exiles will form the basis of the future Israel

- a promise that the exile would only last 70 years

- a command to settle in Babylon and make the most of it until the exile is



C. What to hold onto:

     At we go into this Part, remember that in the face of destructive judgement, God always brings hope for those who will receive it. It may take a while to come, but it is promised. Let this truth sink in and counter the untruth that the God of the Old Testament is a harsh destructive God. Quite to the contrary: a God of grace and hope!




Chapter: Jer 3


Passage: Jer 3:14-18   


A. Find Out:


1. How did the Lord refer to Himself? v.14

2. Where did the Lord say He would bring them? v.14c

3. Who did He say He would give them? v.15

4. What will happen to them? v.16a

5. What will they forget about? v.16

6. What will they call Jerusalem ? v.17

7. Who will gather there? v.17


B. Think :

1. How is the way the Lord describes Himself matched by what He says He

    will do for them?

2. What sort of future has He in mind for Israel ?

3. How does the future the Lord speaks about go far beyond just Israel ?


C. Comment :

     First it sounds bad - the Lord calls them "faithless people" but then He makes it sound better because He says He is their husband and that gives a sense of belonging. Then He says He will restore them and that is good news!

     Wherever in the Old Testament there are long prophecies of warning of judgement, there is always a promise of final restoration. God is not a defeatist. He is not going to leave it in a mess. He promises that AFTER judgement He will restore.

      But note it isn't everyone that He is saying He will restore. He says He will take ones & twos (who will respond to Him) and bring them back. Promise of restoration is NOT unconditional!

     Many WILL be taken in the judgement but there WILL be those who He takes & brings back together to Him. He promises that He will give them His leaders to look after them and that He will make Jerusalem a great place again where He is known to be, where people from all over the world will come. Clearly all will know He is God!

D. Application?

1. Thank the Lord that even when He brings judgement & correction that

    is not the end.

2. Thank Him that always desires to restore us to Himself.





Chapter: Jer 23

Passage: Jer 23:1-8

A. Find Out:    


1. What were the shepherds doing? v.1

2. What would happen to them? v.2

3. What will the Lord do with the flock? v.3

4. What will the new shepherds do? v.4

5. What will the "Branch" do? v.5

6. How will it affect Israel ? v.6


B. Think :

1. What was the Lord's complaint against leaders here?

2. What sort of life did He show He wanted for His people?

3. How was He going to ensure this would come about?


C. Comment :

     The Lord speaks first of all as the Chief Shepherd or even owner of His "sheep", the people of Israel . His complaint is against the leaders of Israel who have not only NOT looked after the people but have actually scattered the people (probably by injustice or by allowing the enemy in amongst them).

     The Lord says that he will gather His people together again into a place of blessing, and He will appoint leaders over them who will look after them. The result of such care should be peace (absence of fear, upset and disharmony) and a unity in community (none missing). This is the inheritance of the people of God who are being properly looked after.

      The Lord then speaks of a "righteous Branch". A branch is a shoot off the main trunk. Isaiah 11:1 says a "shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse". The idea is the same: from what was left of the family of David will come a new bringer of life, one who will be righteous, who will be called "The Lord our righteousness" i.e. one who BRINGS righteousness to his followers. This must be prophetic reference to Jesus who brings us His righteousness and with it peace and security as part of our salvation in Him.

D. Application?

1. Thank the Lord that His desire for His people is peace and blessing.

2. Thank Him that He sent Jesus so that we might be able to receive that

     peace through Him.





Chapter: Jer 24

Passage: Jer 24:1-10  


A. Find Out:


1. When did this picture come? v.1
2. What did the Lord ask? v.3
3. What was the picture? v.2,3
4. Who were the good figs and what would happen to them? 5-7
5. Who were the bad figs and what would happen to them? v.8-10

B. Think :

1. Look up the Introduction page of these notes for when this occurs.

2. How is there a surprising message of hope in the picture that Jeremiah


3. How does God show that He knows the heart of the last king of Judah ?

C. Comment :


     The Lord gives a picture to Jeremiah. Just as with the very first pictures that He gave Him, so the Lord checks to see if Jeremiah is being truly observant. Jeremiah sees that there are two very distinct lots of figs, one very good and the other very bad.

     Approving Jeremiah's observation, the Lord goes on to give the interpretation of this picture. Rather surprisingly the good figs are the people that He has just sent into captivity to Babylon . They are yet to make good and the Lord will watch over them so that when they repent (as they eventually will in captivity) He will bring them back and re-establish them in the land. Captivity is not the end for them!

     We should perhaps take note more clearly here that merely because there appears judgement, that is not necessarily the end. God is the God of resurrection who can bring life after death, restoration after captivity in a foreign land! The Lord knows men's hearts and He knows who will repent and who won't (like Zedekiah!). He therefore plans accordingly.

D. Application?


1. Thank the Lord that He is a God of restoration, constantly seeking life

     for His people.

2. Thank Him that even in discipline there is hope as it comes with His






Chapter: Jer 25

Passage: Jer 25:1-4

A. Find Out:


1. When did this word come? v.1

2. How long had Jeremiah been prophesying? v.3

3. What had the people done? v.3c, 4c, 7a, 8

4. What is the Lord going to do? v.9-11

5. After how long will the Lord act? v.12a

6. What will he do? v.12-14


B. Think :

1. Why would Judah have no excuse?

2. How could they have been saved?

3. How was this a message of both despair and yet hope?


C. Comment :

      A remarkable passage. First Jeremiah reminds them that he has now been warning them for 23 years and they have disregarded God's word again and again. They can never say they were not warned. God had given them every warning possible, in fact by the time Jerusalem has finally been destroyed, Jeremiah will have been warning them for about 36 years! Never say God is hasty in His judgements!

     Next the Lord clearly states His intentions: He is going to bring Nebuchadnezzar to deal with them but after 70 years have passed He will deal with the Babylonians. The Lord who stands outside time overviews it and reveals a snippet of what is to come. Babylon fell seventy years from the beginning of Jehoiakim's reign according to some scholars. The Temple rebuilding in Jerusalem was completed 70 years after its destruction.

     However we date it, the important point is that God fixes the times and seasons and He has decreed that Israel WILL come back to this land. There is hope for the future of Israel , but those who go into captivity now had better realise they will be there for the rest of their lives! Although the Lord is Lord over this situation and promises to restore Israel in the future, the present is bad!

D. Application?

1. Thank the Lord that when He says something it WILL happen.

2. Thank the Lord again that He is never hasty or unfair in bringing His





Chapter: Jer 29

Passage: Jer 29:1-14

A. Find Out:


1. To whom did Jeremiah write? v.1

2. What did he instruct about settling? v.4-6

3. What did he instruct about Babylon ? v.7

4. Against whom did he warn? v.8,9

5. How long would they have to wait? v.10

6. What did the Lord plan for them? v.11-14


B. Think :

1. In telling them to be positive, what was he warning them against?

2. What attitude might they have had without this word?

3. How is this a word of real hope?


C. Comment :

      Jerusalem has just been taken by Nebuchadnezzar for the first time, the king and many people taken to Babylon , and Zedekiah left as king. Soon after, the Lord's word comes via Jeremiah to the exiles who have recently been taken. The content was quite surprising and yet met them exactly where they were. Many of them were perhaps hoping that this was just a temporary exile in a foreign land and that perhaps Babylon would sometime be overcome itself and they be released back to Jerusalem . God's word comes clearly to them: forget such thoughts!

     God wants them to settle there in Babylon , flourish there and indeed seek the blessing of Babylon ! Have no thoughts of an early return for you will be there 70 years, which means you will be there for the rest of your lives! God loves ALL His world and He made Israel to be a light to the Gentiles, whether they were in their own land or outside it! Therefore He wants them to remember that and bless Babylon . Amazing! However, as far as Israel as a nation is concerned, there is a very real future back in the promised land that the Lord WILL ensure. This exile is for real but the nation's future is assured!

D. Application?

1. Do we seek the welfare of the place where we are and pray for it


2. Rest in God that He is with you as you seek Him in the place where you

     are for the moment.




RECAP - "Jeremiah's Message of Hope" -   Jeremiah 3,23,24,25,29



In these final 5 studies we have seen:

- the promise of judgement followed by restoration

- the promise of a gathering of His people and being cared for by new


- the promise of a "righteous Branch", a ruler from David's line who would

   care for his people

- a picture of 2 baskets of figs, the bad ones to be destroyed, the good ones 

   being the exiles who will form the basis of the future Israel

- a promise that Nebuchadnezzar would over run them but that the exile

   would only last 70 years

- a command to settle in Babylon and seek its welfare until the exile is over



     Although the promise of judgement and destruction is quite clear, so is a promise of a future for Israel , here in the land, a future where the people are blessed under the care of God's chosen man, the righteous Branch.



1. Judgement is not the end with the Lord

2. Restoration after judgement is on God's agenda for Israel

3. Jesus is the righteous branch, from whom all blessings come

4. Discipline from the Lord always comes with love

5. The times are in the Lord's hands and what He says, he will do

6. We are to seek the welfare of the world while we are in it, to bring peace,

    righteousness and God's blessing to whoever will receive it.



1. Ask the Lord to fill you the conviction of this truth: that God constantly seeks 

     reconciliation and restoration. (see 2 Peter 3:9b) 

2. If you are that sort of person, ask the Lord to transform you from being judgement-

     orientated person to the Lord's-blessing-orientated person.  








In these studies we have examined:

A. Jeremiah's Main Message

- to Judah & Jerusalem & later some surrounding nations

- that their sin would bring God's judgement unless they repented

     In the face of their continual refusal to respond to this message, God determined to destroy Jerusalem and carry the people into exile under Nebuchadnezzar.

B. Jeremiah's Secondary Message

- that even though destruction was coming to this present people, God DID

   have a future for the later generations of Israel , which would involve them

   returning to the land after seventy years.

     We have also observed:

C. Jeremiah's Calling

- while he was still young

- to speak whatever God gave him to say

- with God's enabling and protection


D. Jeremiah's Difficulties

- opposition from those who didn't like the word or simply rejected the word,

   which nearly brought about his death

- feelings of isolation and inadequacy in coping with his ministry.

      From this we may note:

E. Some Conclusions

- that God will not put up with sin indefinitely

- that when He brings judgement it is only after continual warning

- even in judgement He seeks for future restoration

- those He calls, He equips

- He is always faithful to His word.

- He is worthy of my praise and worship