A Not-So-Happy Ending
An exposition of Jeremiah 52:1-34. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, August 9, 2009.
Sermon Notes »
“And they lived happily ever after,” isn’t that how stories are supposed to end? Don’t you like it when, by story’s end, everything is wrapped up in a neat little package and you can put a bow on top? That’s nice for story books but life is not a fairy-tale. God’s dealing with His people is not a fairy-tale either. That is obvious throughout the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah ministered during the dark days of Judah. His 40 year ministry was characterized by his message of judgment. He repeatedly warned of impending doom. He consistently called the nation and its leaders to repentance. His words went unheeded and thus judgment finally came. The end of the story is not pretty. Listen to Jeremiah’s own words regarding life after the fall of Jerusalem:
How lonely sits the city
that was full of people…
She weeps bitterly in the night,
with tears on her cheeks;
among all her lovers
she has none to comfort her;
all her friends have dealt treacherously with her;
they have become her enemies.
Judah has gone into exile because of affliction
and hard servitude;
she dwells now among the nations,
but finds no resting place;
her pursuers have all overtaken her
in the midst of her distress.
The enemy has stretched out his hands
over all her precious things;
for she has seen the nations
enter her sanctuary,
those whom you forbade
to enter your congregation.
“For these things I weep;
my eyes flow with tears;
for a comforter is far from me,
one to revive my spirit;
my children are desolate,
for the enemy has prevailed.
The prophet wept over the city he loved and lost. So much for “happily ever after.” Chapter 52 is the work of an editor. The last words of the prophet occur in chapter 51 (51:64). Chapter 52 is the work of a careful historian. Even a casual reading of the chapter reveals the historian’s eye for detail. It is not an impassioned account – it sounds a bit like Joe Friday – “Just the facts mam.” The historian is not weeping over Jerusalem’s fall he is merely reporting it. Our text is found in the last chapter of Jeremiah’s prophecy.
Text: Jeremiah 52:1-34
As we move through the passage we will discover that…
Thesis: God’s judgment of Jerusalem and her subsequent fall causes us to consider our ways and yet be assured of His continuing mercy and grace.
- The fall of Jerusalem serves to remind us that sin will be dealt with.
- The fall of Jerusalem serves as a call to faithfulness.
- God’s providential kindness to king Jehoiachin serves to remind us that the promises of God cannot fail thus we have a future and a hope.
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