|Superintendent: Assistant Pastor Jerald L. Bryant
Sunday Morning: 10:30 - 11:30 am
|Christlike Ministries of Deliverance International, Inc.
Sunday School Department
|Aim for Change
By the end of this lesson, we will: REALIZE that God’s promise to follow punishment with forgiveness and restoration is still a valid promise; AFFIRM
that with God, punishment, forgiveness, and healing come as a package; and DESIGN a thank offering for hope, healing, and forgiveness we receive from
Carolyn played Division I tennis for a powerhouse team. She was the first person in her family to go to college, and everyone was very proud of her.
Her family was relatively poor, so she would not have been able to attend school if not for her scholarship. One day an alum approached Carolyn after
tennis practice. The woman expressed her love for tennis, the school, and Carolyn’s unique skill set. As the woman was leaving, she gave her a bag and
said, “I thought you could use a new racket.”
Inside the bag was a large amount of money. Carolyn knew that this was no mistake. She knew it was against the rules, but her family needed the
money. It was a month later when Carolyn’s coach and athletic director approached her before practice. They somehow found out about the money she
had taken and were forced to release her from both the team and school. Carolyn was devastated. She knew that she had disappointed God and her family.
She had no idea where to turn, so she prayed and asked God to forgive her and help her turn her life around.
In today’s lesson, we learn that God is willing to forgive and bring recovery, healing, and restoration.
The King James Version (KJV)
Jeremiah 33:2 Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; 3 Call unto me, and I will answer
thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. 4 For thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and
concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword; 5 They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is to
fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury, and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city. 6
Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth. 7 And I will cause the captivity of
Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first. 8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned
against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. 9 And it shall be to me a name
of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the
goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it. 10 Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate
without man and without beast, even in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and
without beast, 11 The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say,
Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the
LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.
New Living Translation (NLT)
NLT Jeremiah 33:2 “This is what the LORD says—the LORD who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the LORD: 3 Ask me
and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come. 4 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: You have torn down the
houses of this city and even the king’s palace to get materials to strengthen the walls against the siege ramps and swords of the enemy. 5 You expect to fight
the Babylonians, but the men of this city are already as good as dead, for I have determined to destroy them in my terrible anger. I have abandoned them
because of all their wickedness. 6 Nevertheless, the time will come when I will heal Jerusalem’s wounds and give it prosperity and true peace. 7 I will
restore the fortunes of Judah and Israel and rebuild their towns. 8 I will cleanse them of their sins against me and forgive all their sins of rebellion. 9 Then this
city will bring me joy, glory, and honor before all the nations of the earth! The people of the world will see all the good I do for my people, and they will
tremble with awe at the peace and prosperity I provide for them. 10 This is what the LORD says: You have said, ‘This is a desolate land where people and
animals have all disappeared.’ Yet in the empty streets of Jerusalem and Judah’s other towns, there will be heard once more 11 the sounds of joy and
laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will be heard again, along with the joyous songs of people bringing thanksgiving offerings to the
LORD. They will sing, ‘Give thanks to the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, for the LORD is good. His faithful love endures forever!’ For I will restore the
prosperity of this land to what it was in the past, says the LORD.”
God’s plan for the future includes the people of Israel. He has not cast them off forever. The nation has been set aside until the fullness of the Gentiles is
accomplished (see Romans 11:25-26). Then God has promised the restoration of Jerusalem and the reconciliation of its inhabitants. God cannot lie. His
promise will be fulfilled. When God dealt with His prophets, He often directed them to do actions that carried a lesson to Israel, or foretold events in their
future. The prophet Ahijah’s torn garment was a symbol of the division of the kingdom (see I Kings 11:29-38). Isaiah’s sons’ names revealed the future of
Judah (see Isaiah 7:3; 8:3). In this week’s lesson, we will see how God required Jeremiah to perform symbolic acts that would depict Israel’s future.
II. THE PEOPLE, PLACES, AND TIMES
Chaldea. Nebuchadnezzar’s father, who was a Chaldean, seized Babylon around 626 B.C., and at some point in ancient history Chaldean and Babylonian
became synonymous. More correct, however, is the term Neo-Babylonian, which marks the period Chaldeans ruled Babylon. Babylon was located in the
lower regions of the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers, which is present-day Iraq. The larger area to which Chaldea belonged is Mesopotamia. Aside from the
aforementioned Iraq, parts of present-day Iran, Syria, and Turkey comprise Mesopotamia. The region is known for its desert terrain.
III. BACKGROUND FOR THE LESSON
The word “LORD” in this text is translated from the Hebrew word Yahweh. Whenever the Bible uses the name of Yahweh, there’s a prevailing promise
for God’s people. The name Yahweh is used for God whenever His personal relationship with His people is highlighted.
Throughout the Bible, God reminds the Children of Israel several times: “I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the
house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me” (Deuteronomy 5:6–7, World English Bible). This consistent declaration reminded the Children
of Israel, and us today, of an offer of partnership, provision, and a potent prescription for power!
Yahweh is the God of covenant. Just as seen in today’s lesson, God will take care of His people. Yahweh made the Earth (Genesis 2:4), Yahweh
spoke to Moses on Mt. Sinai (Exodus 19:1–6), Yahweh is my shepherd, I shall not want (Psalm 23:1). This is the Lord we know.
In Jeremiah, the Judeans are on the brink of captivity, but this would not be the first time the Israelites experienced oppression. They were enslaved in
Egypt, and Yahweh provided them a passage to freedom. Yahweh is willing to make the same provisions for us today!
IV. In Depth
1. A Point of Clarity (Jeremiah 33:2–6)
Chapter 33 serves as a reassurance that the covenant God had with Israel was still binding despite what was going on currently and about to happen.
This text begins with a point of clarity. God is saying, if you want to know something, be sure you call on the right God. One of Judah’s transgressions was
that they were faithless and had gone astray by entertaining other deities. God wanted to ensure there was no confusing the author of the message. In
essence, God’s message is “I alone, the One who created the Earth, am capable of revealing things beyond your knowledge.” God goes on to cite a
specific example: attempting to fight the Chaldeans would be futile because God has already decided to give them victory as a form of punishment against
The text is clear that Judah’s effort will be in vain and their defeat will be great. The entire nation will suffer destruction; every dwelling from the smallest
cottage to the grandest palace of the king will be affected. The loss will extend beyond possessions and wealth; there will even be death. God will turn aside
while the Chaldeans wreak havoc on them and the consequences of their wickedness unfold. God reiterates the terms of their punishment prior to
confirming the promise.
2. Laughter Shall Return (vv. 7–11)
God’s actions are similar to a parent. If a child does something wrong, the parent reprimands the child. The purpose of the reprimand is to correct
because the parent realizes the behavior is detrimental to the child’s well-being. God makes it clear that once Judah has been corrected, He will come and
restore the relationship. Once a child has been disciplined, the parent then reassures the child of the love at the foundation of the discipline. The reassurance
in this case is restoration. The restoration will come in many forms: land revitalization, healing, peace, truth, liberation, forgiveness, and unity again with God.
God will bring Judah back not only from physical but emotional discipline, and things of the heart such as joy, singing, and laughter shall return.
God’s message seems like an improbable possibility to the Children of Israel. The nation is on the brink of captivity, and as such, the inhabitants can’t
imagine the sun shining again after the storm. God asserts that a new day will dawn and all will be well. He avows that not only will they be freed from
captivity and reclaim what is rightfully theirs, but they will experience abundant peace. God seeks and is able to restore His children to their rightful place
even when we fall short. God’s love is just and all encompassing. It is inclusive of everything we need to take our rightful place in God’s kingdom.
IV. More Light on the Text - Jeremiah 33:2–11
2 Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; 3 Call unto me, and I will answer
thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
A second time God visits Jeremiah while he is imprisoned and speaks to him. God’s purpose in speaking to the nations of Israel and Judah through the
prophet is to assure them that He is able to accomplish what He desires, so He affirms for the nations exactly who is speaking to them. The “LORD” (Heb.
Yehovah, yeh-ho-VAH, the self-existing One) God who is addressing this prophecy through Jeremiah is the same one who was the “maker” (Heb. ‘asah,
ah-SAH, to produce, fashion or make to come to pass) of the earth. He formed it so that He could establish it. The message from God is simple: if He was
able to make, “form” (Heb. yatsar, yah-TSAR, to shape clay or metal), and “establish” (Heb. kun, KOON, to make secure) the earth and all that is in it,
He is able to accomplish any request Israel and Judah might make to Him. They need only to “call” (Heb. kara’, kah-RAH, to cry out for help) upon Him
and He has promised to “answer” (Heb. ‘anah, ah-NAH) them. God even offers to extend what they might pray for by showing (Heb. nagad, nah-GOD,
to announce) them great and mighty things of which they “knowest” not (Heb. yada‘, yah-DAH, to understand).
4 For thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the houses of this city, and concerning the houses of the kings of Judah, which are
thrown down by the mounts, and by the sword.
The Lord affirms for Israel that He is their God and has been watching their plight. He wants them to know that He is aware that the attack by the
Babylonians has destroyed their homes and left the palace in a heap of rubble. The Chaldean army was famous for its use of the battering ram, and other
instruments of war had been used to siege the city of Jerusalem for over a year. In order to patch the holes in the wall that fortified the city, the inhabitants of
Jerusalem were using the rubble from the homes and royal dwellings that had been destroyed in the fighting. It is probable that the forces of
Nebuchadnezzar directed their most violent assaults at the dwellings of the nobility and leadership in an effort to dishearten the inhabitants of the city. Some
commentators suggest that “mounts” (Heb. solelah, so-leh-LAH, siege ramps) refers to the ramparts that the soldiers within the city built in order to fight
5 They come to fight with the Chaldeans, but it is to fill them with the dead bodies of men, whom I have slain in mine anger and in my fury,
and for all whose wickedness I have hid my face from this city.
The normal practice of taking the dead bodies of the slain and placing them on a heap outside of the city gate was not possible during the siege by the
Babylonians. The bodies could not be left in the homes or on the street, so they were piled up and left by the walls where the battle was raging. Seeing all
the dead and rotting bodies would have been visible evidence to the Israelites within the city of God’s great displeasure with them. Jeremiah is telling the
people that God in his “anger” (Heb. ’af, AHF, meaning to be enraged) also has permitted the slaying of Hischosen people because of their sin. His
righteousness has caused Him to hide his face from the city, or turn His back on it and its plight (cf. Micah 3:4).
6 Behold, I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and will reveal unto them the abundance of peace and truth.
The Lord will initially heal Judah with the cure of bringing the exiles back from Babylon and rebuilding the city and temple. Through Jeremiah, God
continues to speak to future generations of the Children of Israel (also to us who are heirs to the promises), stating that He will bring both health and the
cure for the disease of sin that has caused Him to turn His back on His chosen people. Christ is the source of this cure (cf. John 1:17) that He accomplished
by offering Himself up on the Cross. In accepting Christ as their Messiah, God is promising that He will “reveal” (Heb. galah, gah-LAH, to uncover) to
them just how deep and full His “peace” (Heb. shalom, shah-LOME, welfare, health, prosperity) and “truth” (Heb. ’emet, EH-met, faithfulness,
7 And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, and will build them, as at the first.
What joy it must have been for Jeremiah to write this promise of God to bring the captives of the nations of Israel and Judah back to their Promised
Land and to restore them to a status and situation that equaled their state before their bondage to the Babylonians. And what faith it must have prompted in
the prophet to believe God’s promise while he himself was being held prisoner in Zedekiah’s courtyard.
8 And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they
have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me.
God’s promise to His chosen people and to His church is that though they at present are reprehensible to Him because of sin, He will cleanse them
from that sin. But not that sin only; He will cleanse them from all their “iniquities” (Heb. ‘avon, aw-VONE, violations or offenses). Further, God will
“pardon” (Heb. salakh, sah-LAKH, to release or forgive) all of the wrong and evil done against His holy person. Only then would His people be fit to
reoccupy the land that had been promised.
9 And it shall be to me a name of joy, a praise and an honour before all the nations of the earth, which shall hear all the good that I do unto
them: and they shall fear and tremble for all the goodness and for all the prosperity that I procure unto it.
The suffering that the Israelite nations would undergo and all the pain and misery of God’s chosen people would cause the other nations of the earth to
take note. Then, once the Children of Israel had repented, been forgiven, and been restored to their own land and the land repopulated, their homes rebuilt,
and their worship of God renewed, all the nations would hear of the good that God had done for His chosen people. In response, those nations would
“fear” (Heb. pakhad, pah-KHAD, to be in dread) and “tremble” (Heb. ragaz, rah-GAZ, to shake with fear) before the God of the Israelites, and He
would receive honor from this. Additionally, the Jews thus being restored and noting the reactions of the other nations would glorify God by being obedient
to His will. The “prosperity” Jeremiah mentions in this verse is the same word in the original text as “peace” in verse 6. It is the fullness of God’s goodness
that would cause them to tremble and fear. Experiencing God’s goodness and the resulting “prosperity” in this fashion, His chosen people would fear to
offend Him and forfeit His favor once more. God would also glorify Himself by taking a people that had been reprehensible to Him and making their name a
joy, praise, and honor before all the other nations of the earth.
10 Thus saith the LORD; Again there shall be heard in this place, which ye say shall be desolate without man and without beast, even in the
cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate, without man, and without inhabitant, and without beast, 11 The voice of joy,
and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts:
for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I
will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD.
As the Babylonians besieged Jerusalem and the surrounding nations of Judah and Israel and were about to completely overrun its fortifications, all one
could see was “desolate” ruins. Jeremiah had prophesied that the people of the land would be carried off as captives of war and that the land would appear
to be without a single “inhabitant” (Heb. yashav, yah-SHAV, people who live in a certain area). No men roaming about the cities, streets deserted and
empty, and no animals to be seen. Such a scene could only evoke an overwhelming sense of sadness. But God here promises that voices of sadness will
one day be turned to voices of joy and gladness. God promises that the voice of the bridegroom and the voice of the bride will ring out in praises to the
Lord of hosts. In His “mercy” (Heb. khesed, KHEH-sed, favor, faithfulness, or loyal love), God will return the inhabitants of the land and restore them to a
condition that will equal their state when they first occupied the Promised Land. Then their weeping will be turned to joy, and they will bring their “sacrifice
of praise” to the house of the Lord. This wondrous promise is intended to give hope and encouragement to the Children of Israel and, by extension, to all
who will share in God’s favor because of them.
Search the Scriptures
1. What did God say happened because of Judah’s wickedness (Jeremiah 33:5)?
2. “The joyful voices of ________ and ________ will be heard again, along with the joyous songs of people bringing thanksgiving offerings to the LORD”
(v. 11, NLT).
Discuss the Meaning
We often read biblical accounts or hear the testimony after the test and wonder why people took God’s Word for granted. If we are honest, we too are
guilty of having doubts. In light of today’s lesson, do you need to make any adjustments?
Lesson in Our Society
Although incarceration rates are high, more and more we are becoming a society that does not fear punishment. God’s punishment, healing, and forgiveness
are all a part of His love for us. No one should expect to commit a crime and not have to suffer the repercussions. On a more personal level, when we take
our relationships for granted, mistreat someone, or don’t own up to our responsibilities, there is a consequence.
Make It Happen
Think about an instance when you did something wrong. What were the ways in which God extended hope, healing, and forgiveness to you afterward?
1. As the Creator of the universe, God is worthy to be heard and obeyed (Jeremiah 33:2).
2. We are invited to seek God for answers and the assurance that He will indeed answer (Jeremiah 33:3).
3. Wickedness inevitably brings divine judgment (Jeremiah 33:4-5).
4. Even in the worst times there is always hope for those who turn to the Lord (Jeremiah 33:6-7).
5. Material blessing can be fully appreciated only by those who also know the blessing of forgiveness (Jeremiah 33:8-9).
6. Faith looks beyond hardships to the joyous blessings God has promised (Jeremiah 33:10-11).
|October 5, 2014: Improbable Possibilities
Golden Text: “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou
knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3).
|Daily Bible Readings:
MONDAY September 29: Isaiah 30:9–17
TUESDAY September 30: Jeremiah 2:26–32
WEDNESDAY October 1: Jeremiah 3:11–15
THURSDAY October 2: Jeremiah 3:19–23
FRIDAY October 3: Jeremiah 17:12–17
SATURDAY October 4: Jeremiah 9:17–24
SUNDAY October 5: Jeremiah 33:2–11
|Say It Correctly