Resting on the Promises

JeremiahAn exposition of Jeremiah 30:18-31:6. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, September 21, 2008.

Have you noticed certain people just have a way of putting you at ease? Have you found that when things are really bad there are one or two folks that if you talk to them you are going to feel a whole lot better about things? They know you and you trust their judgment and you welcome their input. I have some friends like that. When I find myself struggling or frustrated I call them up and when I hang up the phone I feel better about things. When they assure me that life is going to go on and the sun will come up tomorrow – I tend to believe them. When they tell me I need to make some changes or adjust a few things I heed their advice. It comes down to trust. In the same way there are folks who make promises and I’m willing to go to the bank on their promise. There are other folks who can assure me until they are blue in the face and I’m never going to act upon it because I don’t trust them and they’ve proven their word is no good. You know as well as I do a promise is only as good as the person who makes it. The people of Judah had turned a deaf ear to Jeremiah the prophet. He told them for years that God was coming in judgment. They didn’t listen. As far as they could tell nothing had changed and besides “respected” religious leaders assured them all was well. But after decades of repeated warnings and mocking responses God did come in judgment. Babylon sacked Jerusalem and carried away Judah’s best and brightest. The temple was destroyed and God told the people to “settle in” down in Babylon because they would not see home for some time. In fact they were to build houses, plant vineyards, marry, have children, find spouses for their children because it would be 7 decades before they would be allowed to return to the Land of Promise. They began to look at Jeremiah in a new light. When he came declaring that God had spoken they were a little more inclined to listen. After years of “plucking up and breaking down; of destroying and overthrowing; it was finally time to do a little planting and building” (Jeremiah 1:10). In chapters 30-33 Jeremiah gets to bring the exiles some hope. He brought to them what one scholar called, “the grand hymn of Israel’s deliverance.” He brought them the Gospel, the good news that God delivers His people. Our text this evening is found in Jeremiah chapter 30, beginning at verse 18.

Text: Jeremiah 30:18-31:6
Last time we look at the first 17 verses of chapter 30. We discovered that 6 centuries before Christ Jeremiah revealed the glory of the Gospel to a bunch of stubborn, stiffnecked exiles. We continue along that same line this evening as we learn that…

Thesis: God’s people have always found courage and strength for troublesome times by resting in His promise of deliverance and blessing.

When I say, “resting” I mean trusting in or relying upon. It is an active rest. It means to embrace the promise of God and allow that promise to shape and mold your life. It impacts your daily decisions. It informs your response to the world around you. It becomes part of you. It is not just some information you file away and say, “Well some day that will mean something.” It means something now. It affects things now. It sooths your doubts and calms your fears now.

I want to briefly and quickly point out three things.

  1. God promises to bring glory out of the ashes. (30:18-20)
  2. God promises a gracious kingly priest. (30:21)
  3. God promises a glorious transformation. (30:22-31:6)

This is the hope of the people of God. Regardless of our circumstances – God is faithful to His promise. He promises to bring glory from ashes. He promises a gracious kingly priest. He promises a glorious transformation.

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