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Jeremiah 29:10-12 1
10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.

img197Background 2

Jeremiah was a priest, a native of Anathoth, in the tribe of Benjamin. He was called to his prophetic role when very young, about seventy years after the death of Isaiah, and exercised it for about forty years with great faithfulness, till the sins of the Jewish nation came to their full measure and destruction followed.

The prophecies of Jeremiah do not stand as they were delivered. The theologian, Blayney, has endeavored to arrange them in more regular order, namely, ch. 1-20; 22; 23; 25; 26; 35; 36; 45; 24; 29; 30; 31; 27; 28; 21; 34; 37; 32; 33; 38; 39; (ver. 15-18, 1-14.) 40-44; 46-52. The general subject of his prophecies is the idolatry and other sins of the Jews; the judgments by which they were threatened, with references to their future restoration and deliverance, and promises of the Messiah. They are remarkable for plain and faithful rebuke, affectionate disapproval of their ways, and awful warnings.

In Chapter 29, Jeremiah is writing to the captives in Babylon; In the first, he is recommending them to be patient and composed. (1-19) In the second, judgments are denounced against the false prophets who originally deceived them. (20-32).

Biblical Truths 3

God promises that they should return after seventy years were accomplished. By this it appears, that the seventy years of the captivity are not to be reckoned from the last captivity, but the first. It will be the bringing to pass of God’s good word to them. This shall form God’s purposes. We often do not know our own minds, but the Lord is never at an uncertainty. We are sometimes ready to fear that God’s designs are all against us; but as to his own people, even that which seems evil, is for good. He will give them, not the expectations of their fears, or the expectations of their fancies, but the expectations of their faith; the end he has promised, which will be the best for them. When the Lord pours out an especial spirit of prayer, it is a good sign that he is coming toward us in mercy. Promises are given to quicken and encourage prayer.

Items for Discussion

  • What cautions do you see in verse 10?
    • Hint: Think about the consequences of not following God.
  • What comfort do you get when you read verse 11?
  • What is the relationship between hope, having a future and prayer? Like the proverbial “which came first, the chicken or the egg,” which comes first, hope from our God or prayers to our God for hope of a future?
  • What does Jeremiah’s words tell us about our relationship with God?

 

John 14:12
12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.

Background 4

Chapter 14 is comprised of Christ’s words, comforting his disciples. (1-11) He further comforts his disciples. (12-17) He still further comforts his disciples. (18-31). Christ is always our comforter.

Bible Truth

Whatever we ask in Christ’s name, that is for our own good, and suitable to our position and state of life, He will give to us. To ask in Christ’s name, is to plead His merit and intercession, and to depend upon that plea. Our gift of the Spirit is a fruit of Christ’s mediation on our behalf, bought by His merit (earned on the Cross), and received by us through Christ’s intercession for us. We are to think of Christ as our advocate, counselor, monitor, and comforter.

Items for Discussion

  • Why is this verse so profound? Christ healed the sick, raised the dead, turned water into wine, yet we are to do greater things? How can this be?
  • Why is it that we can never really know God’s plans for us?
  • Why would our trust in God be critical to our relationship with God?
  • Why does having Christ with God help us do greater things?

Discussion Challenge

  • What is the role of the Christian church in doing “greater things?”
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